Vandalia Mayor Ricky Gottman visited the Fayette County HCE Board meeting on Monday, presenting the club a certificate proclaiming the week of Oct. 2-8 as National Illinois Association Home and Community Education Week.
The proclamation reads, “Whereas, since 1924, members of the Illinois Association for Home and Community (Fayette County HCE) have been promoting social and economic well being in Fayette County homes and neighborhoods; and
“Whereas the Fayette County HCE is an educational and community service organization comprised of more than 11,000 men and women from 82 associations in 102 counties: and
“Whereas the Fayette County HCE has held awareness programs for the public such as human trafficking awareness and ovarian cancer awareness; collected items (bottle caps, tabs, etc.) to purchase outdoor benches for nursing and assisted-living facilities; collected and donated items and made tote bags for Eden’s Glory for Survivors of Human Trafficking:
“Now, therefore. I, Ricky Gottman, mayor of the City of Vandalia, Ill., do hereby proclaim the week of Oct. 2-8 as Fayette County Home and Education Week in Vandalia, and commend Fayette County HCE for its dedication and commitment to the welfare of local communities across the land of Lincoln.”
May 16 was observed as the 68th anniversary of the Fayette HCE. Twenty women, representing each township, met at the Farm Bureau to determine if there was enough interest to start the Fayette organization.
It was decided to hold a membership drive, resulting in the Fayette County HCE of today.
The membership grew, but in later years has fluctuated, largely due to age, death and members moving to nursing homes, often to other towns to be near their families.
Over the years, daughters and granddaughters who have accompanied their mothers to meetings follow the tradition of joining and are now accompanied by their grandchildren.
Fayette County HCE holds awareness programs for the public, which are usually well attended. The programs are free to the public and refreshments are served.
A recent program was ovarian cancer awareness, with a doctor and a cancer survivor as speakers.
Programs to held in the future include Alzheimer’s awareness, child abuse awareness and suicide awareness.
All is not work in the HCE, as field trips, special potluck meetings, and picnic days are also observed by the various units, which include include St. Peter, Wright’s Corner, Bingham/Ramsey, Sefton, Vandalia Day and St. Elmo. Each unit holds its own monthly meeting.
The units may also engage in a special community cause or project of their choosing. The HCE supports the 4-H program and holds special days and activities for them. A recent successful and fun day for 4-H was a sewing day for both girls and boys.
Fayette County HCE invites and welcomes new members of any age. Contact a member in your area (or any member) if you are interested in joining.