By Avonne Petty
Pike County EHC Council Reporter
Pike County EHC celebrates the 107th year of EHC in Arkansas. Starting out as Home Demonstration Clubs the name was later changed to Extension Homemaker Clubs. There have been clubs in this county since 1912. Over the years, whether named “Home Economist or Family and Consumer Science agents.” representatives from the Cooperative Extension Service have provided research based information to the people of the county. Heather Jackson is the current FCS agent and serves as the advisor for EHC.
There are 5 clubs in the County with 55 members. The county won the “2017-2018 Most Increased Percentage of Membership in Ouachita District” award during last year’s State EHC Convention. Two clubs entered project books in the state contest. Both earned 100% scores from all evaluators. The county is well represented with 5 members attending the State Convention, 14 the District meeting, and our President at the state Presidents day. All of the clubs are involved in providing community service projects in their areas of the county. The following is a report of some of the accomplishments of our clubs in the past year.
A county wide “Basket Weaving” workshop was held and several members assisted the FCS agent with the “Welcome Baby” program. A new club – the Caddo River Quilters – was formed. Two Pisgah club members conducted a workshop for Glenwood club making knit hats using the round looms. The clubs made hats for the American Heart Association sponsored “Lil Hats, Big Hearts,” project for babies born during February – Heart Month. Members of the two clubs made over 50 hats for the project.
East Delight received a grant from Arkansas Historic Preservation to conduct workshops on cleaning and refurbishing tombstones. Two programs were conducted by a nationally known veteran gravestone conservator as well as cleanup days at the Delight Cemetery.
The Glenwood club received a “Blue is You” grant to renovate the city park. Work is being done on this project. The club won first place in the Christmas Tree Decorating contest.
Assisting CALL was the project for the County Council with all clubs participating. Members made and donated items for use by foster families of Pike and Montgomery counties. Some clubs set out boxes for donations; sewed quilts, throws, pillows, pillowcases and donated many other items. Hundreds of items were collected for this worthwhile organization.
The Fair finds members from all clubs working diligently to take in entries, and make the fair run smoothly. The “Country Store” was a big hit with the Glenwood members conducting workshops making jams, jellies, and crafts to sell. They also prepared the EHC and 4-H buildings for exhibits and were in charge of the Fair Tee shirt sales.
The Grand Champion booth by Pisgah club was exhibited at the District Fair, the Bank of Delight, and at a town celebration. Several of county members judged at area fairs and the District Fair.
Along with the cemetery project by East Delight members, they also sponsor a “Memorial Garden and Wall” at the Picket Building at Delight School. They made and sent Valentine cards to all of the other EHC members in the county and made “Fidget Blankets” for the Glenwood Nursing Home. A major project was re-painting the wooden Christmas decorations used at Delight. They also furnished popcorn at the Christmas Parade.
A club favorite is the “Music Fest” held in the fall where they sponsored the book writers who attended, set up an EHC display and sold handmade items. The club also sold items at the Country Store during the Fair.
The Diamondettes club members assisted with many activities, providing silent auction items and prizes. Members participated in a fall wreath making workshop.
The Pisgah club utilizes its members sewing skills to complete many community service projects. They had a workshop where members worked on making a patriotic quilt which was donated to and raised funds for the Delight Veterans Memorial. Another day they made pillowcases which were part of gifts at Christmas they gave to the CADC pre-school group at Delight school.
Their CALL project was making from baby size to twin bed size quilts. They don’t only sew. Before decorating the town at Christmas, they had a “Bow Making” class and used the bows as part of Christmas decorations. Pisgah members also made nearly 100 toboggans which were given to homeless veterans, the homeless, and children who needed them.
As you can see, EHC members are very active in our communities. But they also get together for fun activities. Glenwood made a Christmas visit to Garvan Gardens.
All four clubs were represented at the Quartz and Quiltz festival in Mt Ida and East Delight and Pisgah went to the “Spring A Time To Till” program sponsored by the Nevada County Master Gardeners. Glenwood and Pisgah both made 4th of July wreaths from clothes pins, and Glenwood made Christmas trees from clothes hangers.
EHC has come a long way from Canning Clubs to learning about air fryers and deer resistant plants in today’s clubs. We have a lesson on a new subject each month.
Come join us for fun and learning.
Contact Heather Jackson at the Extension office for further information about the EHC club in your area. Call 870-285-2161 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .