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Mississippi County Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary at Fall Council Meeting

November 7, 2011

2012 will mark the 100th year that Extension Homemaker Clubs have been in existence in Arkansas! Mississippi County Extension Homemaker Club members began the centennial celebration early by having an EHC birthday party at their fall council meeting held at the Mississippi County Library in Blytheville on October 26th.
The theme for the meeting was “Old Times Moving Forward”.   The keynote guest speakers for the meeting included retired U of A, Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Agents, Sandra Smith and Romona Thieme.
Smith reviewed the history of EHC in Arkansas all the way back to its beginning when the lady of the house worked with the children in canning clubs to preserve food for the family. She also showed some of her old family photographs from growing up on the farm to show how the ladies would work to make things better in and around the home for the family while the men would work mostly on the farm to make a living for the family.

Below:  Ollie Lofton (standing), member of the Town & Country EHC Club,  visits with Romona Thieme, retired FCS Extension agent, and also one of the key note speakers at the fall council meeting. 

Thieme talked more about current EHC programs and the large impact members were making to improve their communities through the volunteer work they perform. She also discussed how our families and communities operate differently in today’s age of electronic communication compared to years gone by. She touched on some of the ways EHC members were modifying programs to still target improvement in family life.  
Members were also recognized at the council meeting for their outstanding service to the local program during 2011. Those receiving a perfect attendance award (to club meetings) include Lorelei Boyd, Ophelia Boyd, Frances Ivy, Mitzi Patterson, and Carolyn Smallwood. Outstanding membership awards went to Lorelei Boyd, Ophelia Boyd, Ann Hutto, Frances Ivy, Mitzi Patterson, and Carolyn Smallwood. Hats off to these members who went the extra mile in club participation and volunteer work.
One of the highlights of the meeting was break time when Happy Birthday was sang to EHC and the Happy 100th Birthday AEHC cake.  The cake was provided by the Gosnell EHC Club to begin the celebration of Arkansas EHC being 100 years old in 2012 and was enjoyed by those attending.  During the meeting a representative from each EHC club in the county also gave an update on their current membership, community service projects, and plans to promote the EHC program during the centennial celebration next year.
Nineteen members from the six active clubs (Cotton Belles, Dogwood, Gosnell, Leachville, Manila, and Town & Country) in Mississippi County attended the fall council meeting. (Shown with cake in picture).   Make sure to call the Extension office (870) 762-2075 or visit with an EHC member in your community if you would like to become an EHC member. The program is open to anyone interested in improving the family lives of those who live in their community.
Smith & Smallwood: Sandra Smith (standing), retired FCS Extension agent speaks about the early days of EHC. Carolyn Smallwood, Mississippi County President, (right) reviews the fall council meeting agenda.
Lofton & Thieme: Ollie Lofton (standing), member of the Town & Country EHC Club, – visits with Romona Thieme, retired FCS Extension agent, and also one of the key note speakers at the fall council meeting.

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