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HCE 63rd annual meeting, dinner

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By Panzi Blackwell

The Fayette County Home and Community Education held its 63rd annual dinner and meeting on Tuesday, June 14, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Vandalia, with 44 members and five guests signing the register.

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The tables were decorated with clown dolls and figurines, in keeping with the “Circus Extravaganza” theme chosen by the Illinois Association HCE  Each clown held a small American flag in honor of Flag Day. The decorations were provided by the club president, Flo Allen.
Following the 11 a.m. registration, Allen gave the welcome, Mary Smith asked the blessing for the potluck meal. Following the meal, Allen called the meeting to order and led in the pledge to the American flag.
Vice President Anna Jean Rhodes presided over the memorial service for HCE members who died in the past HCE year.
Members of the HCE Unit to which the deceased belonged gave the memorials: Allen, of the Sefton Unit, for Ruby Grandfield Thompson (member for 58 years); Joyce Mueller of the Vandalia Day Unit, for Jean Frieders; and Irene Reed of Wright’s Corner for Helen Shelton, a charter member.
Rhodes closed the memorial service with a prayer ending in gratitude for the lives of the departed members and for the HCE organization and those who touch the lives of others.
Smith, the secretary, read the report on the June 2010 annual meeting. The treasurer’s report for 2010-11, audit committee report and 2011-12 budget were given by Rhodes in the absence of the treasurer, Dorothy Harpster. All were approved.
A proposal to raise the 2012-13 HCE dues from $13 was approved.
A proposal was approved to allow unit members who have been Home Bureau members /Homemakers Extension association/Home & Community Education for 50 or more to pay only the state dues of $3 yearly, as mailbox members. They will receive lessons sheets and quarterly newsletter.
Allen called on officers of the Fayette County HCE Board to give reports.
• First Vice President Phyllis Pryor invited input/suggestions for the lessons program to be brought to the meetings. She announced that a program planning meeting date will be set later, and urged all first vice-presidents to attend.
• International Director Shirley Klitzing reported that plans for the October International Potluck, featuring Scotland, are being made.
• Public Relations Panzi Blackwell shared some past media coverage for Fayette County HCE and asked all units to send her reports on their activities for publication. They may send them to her by e-mail, panzi.blackwell@yahoo.com.
Rhodes presented certificates for members of 60 years or more.
Sixty-three year certificates were awarded to charter members: Hermmine Grant, St. Peter mailbox member; Vontella McEndollar, Wheatland Unit; Martha O’Dell, St. Peter Unit; and Illene Sidwell-Sefton Unit. Members of their units accepted the awards in their absences to present to them.
Rhodes received a 62-year certificate.
Receiving 60-year certificates were: Geraldine Casey, Bingham/Ramsey; Mary Ellen Lovett, Wheatland; and Lucille Smith, Vandalia Day. Their units will present them with the certificates.
Also recognized were: Dorothy Harpster, St. Peter, 54 years; Mary Stokes, Bingham, 53 years; and Freda Wills of St. Elmo, and Sally Behrends and Lucille Fisher, Sefton, 52 years.
Ruth Schnake of St. Peter unit, the newest member of the 50 Years group, was awarded a 50-year pin and certificate, accepted by her unit, in her absence.
A special plaque and certificate recognizing the perfect attendance record of 48 years were awarded to Vontella McEndollar, who has been a member of HCE for 63 years. Unable to attend, she will be presented the honors by her unit.
Also recognized for perfect attendance were: Irene Reed-Wright’s Corner, 17 years; Flo Allen-Sefton, Dorothy Harpster-St. Peter and Anita Smith-Vandalia Day, 15 years; Kate Jennings-Wright’s Corner and Karen Denning-St. Elmo, 13 years; Shirley Klitzing, Elizabeth Kasten, both of Sefton, 12 years; and Evelyn Probst-Bingham/Ramsey, 10 years.
The election and installation of officers by HCE District Director Debbie Borries followed. Borries gave each officer a bookmark, again in the circus theme. She addressed each one individually, citing their responsibilities in their particular office, again referring to circus terms and qualities.
Installed were: Allen-president; Phyllis Pryor-first vice president; Anna Jean Rhodes and Joyce Moore-co-second vice presidents; Smith-secretary; Harpster-treasurer; Reed-family issues; Shirley Klitzing-international and cultural enrichment; and Panzi Blackwell-public relations.
Borries also gave a brief talk, announcing that this was her last official act as director, as she had resigned due to employment demands. She will remain a member of HCE in Effingham.
She reminded all of the conference in March in Effingham. She noted that Marilyn Schaffer, of Effingham County, will be the new District 6 director.
She said that Fayette County is one of the strongest counties in the organization.
She closed with the comment that “Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.”
The Homemaker of the Year award/plaque was given to Anita Smith of Vandalia Day. The Unit of the Year plaque was awarded to the Sefton HCE unit, judged on points earned through questions, activities, sponsorships, etc.
Allen read a poem, “Circus Extravaganza,” written by Panzi Blackwell for HCE, comparing the similarities of the HCE homemaker/member with the qualities, courage and dedication of the circus performers.
Guests attending were: Nancy Arnold of Brownstown, Lura Tarter of Vandalia, Debbie Boley-Extension office secretary, Rachelle Hollingshead-Extension director and Borries.
Members attending were:
• Sefton-Flo Allen, Marilyn Yakel, Betty Williams, Normalee Terry, Panzi Blackwell, Phyllis Pryor, Shirley Klitzing, Elizabeth Kasten, Sally Behrends, Rosemund Hobler, Marge Weiss, LaVonne Kramer and Shirley Mattes.
• Bingham/Ramsey-Mary Stokes, Veda Stout, Evelyn Probst,  Mary Ann Rhodes and May Della Probst.
• St. Peter-Doris Rubin, Marcella  Ulbrecht, Lois Meyer, Luella Rubin, Sandra Runge and Marian Rubin.
• St. Elmo-Anna Jean Rhodes.
• Vandalia Day-Ilene Smith, Alvena Noffsinger, Joan Maxey, Elaine Dunn, Joyce Carter, Debbie Segrist, Ruth Brackenbush, Verna Stallings, Joyce Mueller, Anita Smith, Alice Maxey and Carrie Hill.
• Wheatland-Joyce Moore and Karen Hyde. • Wright’s Corner-Kate Jennings, Ina Abendroth, Irene Reed, Una Tish and Mary Smith.