County FCE hosts achievement luncheon

County FCE hosts achievement luncheon

Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 8:00 pm

Maurine M. Hickman
Weakley County FCE
The Weakley County Family and Community Education (FCE) Organization held its Annual Achievement Luncheon in March with 40 members, two craft judges, a guest speaker and UT ag extension agent Beverly Shelby in attendance. The theme was “All Tied Up With FCE.”
The Central FCE Club provided the decorations, which were paper dolls “tied up” with cord.
Friendly Neighbors FCE club selected the caterer and the menu, and provided the devotional and the song leader.
The New Salem FCE Club was responsible for obtaining the speaker for the program.
Council president Jerry Seamans opened the program by welcoming everyone and gave the “Thought for the Day.”
The devotional, titled “Put On Your Shoes, Step Onto The Path, And Follow Him,” was given by Maurine M. Hickman.
Ruby Brundige, accompanied by Mary Elizabeth Bell, led the group in singing “America the Beautiful” and “This Land Is Your Land.”
Ms. Shelby gave her address. She posed a powerful question for members to ponder. “What if you awoke today with only the things that you were thankful for yesterday,” she asked.
She proceeded to tell members of the things that FCE does for which she is thankful. She stated that the group shares a common bond, because of the “tie that binds” it, which is service to fellow man.
The first verse of “Blessed Be the Tie that Binds” was sung and Ms. Shelby read the other verses. She then asked, “What is the tie that binds? What has held this organization together for over 100 years? What will hold us together in the future?”
She said that by being “like minded” (Philippians 2:2); by having “a servant’s heart” (Philippians 2:3); and by putting the needs of others ahead of our own, we will endure. She stated that FCE is all about serving others. Philippians 2:17-18, in essence, says, “rejoice with me as I rejoice with you” in your many achievements.
She began to list some of the club projects — collecting aluminum pull tabs; Campbell’s soup labels; General Mills Box Tops for Education for local schools and Reelfoot Rural Ministries; and “Wrapped in Love,” a sewing project to help expectant mothers and adult lap robes for nursing home patients.
There are volunteers who work at We Care Ministries and deliver Meals on Wheels.
The group also collects donations of food, school supplies, gifts and money for We Care Ministries.
FCE members encourage reading to children by purchasing (or making) books for newborns, making donations to “Imagination Library,” reading to 261 children, attending a program to learn how to be better officers; participating in a creative writing competition; and by reporting Certified Volunteer Unit, amounting to 10,500 volunteer hours, with more than 29,000 people reached through these services.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dollar value of volunteer hours is $20.85 per hour. Through volunteer hours, the FCE saved the taxpayers about $271,467. Ms. Shelby further stated that all the monetary donations to various charitable organizations, including one scholarship to UT Martin, amounted to $2,136.
Other  project expenses were about $1,900, for a total of a little more than $4,000.
She closed with a quote from Philippians 1:3-6, which, in essence, says, “I thank God and always pray with joy because of your partnership … being confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Bettie Higgs, president of the New Salem FCE Club, introduced Sandra Robbins, a retired Martin Primary School principal and prolific writer of Christian mystery novels.
She spoke of her long-time desire to be a writer and how life’s circumstances managed to keep her from her life’s dream.
She said one day it dawned on her that we are not promised tomorrow, and in 2004 she began writing. Ms. Robbins’ first book was published in 2008. She gave all the credit to God and His plan for her as she “followed Him.”
Her 12th book is due to be released in July of this year, followed quickly with the release of her 13th book in January 2013, and six months later, her 14th book, to be released in July 2013.
She closed by sharing an email that she had received last Mother’s Day. A woman emailed her and wrote, “As I was reading your book, I asked God to come into my heart.” Ms. Robbins’ said you never know whom you may touch. She also said, “If I didn’t do anything but that one book, and affect that one woman, it was worth it. You never know who you may touch, but God knows.”
Following her presentation, the group was given time to view cultural arts and to bid on the silent auction items, before lunch was served. Lunch consisted of poppy-seed chicken, green beans, baked apples, fresh garden salad, rolls, strawberry shortcake or chocolate cake and coffee, iced tea (sweet and unsweet) and water.
Following lunch and announcements by President Seamans, the group was entertained by the Fashion Revue, which was emceed by Aileen Edwards and organized by Edwards and Ruby Rogers of the New Salem Club.
Gladys Simmons (Central Club) won first place in the Dressy Dress category. First place in casual wear was Pamela Jones (Central). Mary Elizbeth Bell (New Salem) won first place for a dress she had sewn for her granddaughter, who is 12 or under, and was carried on a hanger. Sylvia Simmons (New Salem) won first place in the Accessories category for the tote bag she made. Pam Jones (Central) also won a blue ribbon for her decorative sweat wear.
The winners from here will be going on to the regional competition July 31.
After the Fashion Revue, Ms. Shelby recognized the recipients of reading certificates. All three clubs participated.
Central Club had 12 members participating and read a total of 307 books.
Friendly Neighbors Club had three members participating and read 86 books.
New Salem Club had 16 members reading and read a total of 464 books.
The County Council total was 30 members who participated and a total of 857 books read.
Maurine Hickman, council 2nd vice president, then recognized those with perfect attendance. They were: Central – Lee Culham, Sue Hopkins, Martha Lamb, Jerry Seamans, and Gladys Simmons; New Salem — Mary Elizabeth Bell, Aileen Edwards, Bettie Higgs, Deanna Higgs, Ruby Rogers, Sarah Simmons, Sylvia Simmons, and Lillian Stoker.
Ms. Hickman reminded everyone that if they happen to miss their own club meeting, they can make it up by attending another club’s meeting, a County Council Meeting, or even a Western Region Meeting.
Beverly Shelby then presented Certificates of Appreciation for recognition on the state level for the following: Cultural Arts — Brenda Winstead, first in Basketry; Pam Jones, second for Black & White Photography & Participant in Chairs and Stools; Deanna Higgs, participant, Cross Stitch (Other Cross Stitch); Creative Writing — Sara Simmons, second for Featured News Article; Fashion Revue — Gladys Simmons, third for Suit in Dressy Ensemble category; Pam Jones, first Jacket, Blazer, or Coat category and second for Decorative Sweat Wear; and Mary Elizabeth Bell, second for Wardrobe Accessories.
Ms. Shelby then gave certificates of appreciation to outgoing officers; those who had served as judges for surrounding county fairs; those who conducted the silent auction; and those who chaired the Weakley County Fashion Revue and Cultural Arts Exhibit.
Bettie Higgs, council first vice president, then awarded the certificates and/or seals from the Tennessee Association for Family & Community Education (TAFCE) for the Certified Volunteer Units — Central Club — 10 members participated with a total of 7,000 Certified Volunteer Units hours; and New Salem Club — six members participated with a total 3,500 Certified Volunteer Unit hours.
Bettie Higgs continued by announcing the placements in the Cultural Arts competition. They were as follows: Basketry — first, Brenda Winstead; second, Jerry Seamans; Beadwork — first, Maurine Hickman; second, Jerry Seamans; third, Brenda Winstead; Ceramics — first, Carolyn Maxey; Crochet — first, Sylvia Simmons; second, Brenda Winstead; Cross-stitch (counted) — first, Sylvia Simmons; second, Pamela Jones; third, Bettie Higgs; Cross-stitch (other) — first, Brenda Winstead; Decorative Painting — first, Pat Calhoun; second, Brenda Winstead; Dolls — first, Brenda Winstead; Embroidery (hand) — Pamela Jones; Embroidery (machine) — first, Brenda Winstead; Fine Arts Painting (pastels, acrylics) — first, Mary Elizabeth Bell; Handcrafted Toy — first, Bettie Higgs; Hand Stitching (hardanger, cutwork, smocking, applique) — first, Faye Wilson; Holiday Decoration — first, Brenda Winstead; second, Mary Elizabeth Bell; third, Sylvia Simmons; Needlepoint — first, Pamela Jones; Photography (color) — first, Mary Elizabeth Bell; second, Jerry Seamans; third, Pamela Jones; Photography (black and white) — first, Pamela Jones; second, Mary Elizabeth Bell; Quilts (machine-pieced and hand-quilted) — first, Brenda Winstead; Quilts: Specialty (pillows) — first, Cheryl Lyons; Rug Making — first, Brenda Winstead; Sculpture – first, Brenda Winstead; second, Mary Elizabeth Bell; and Stained Glass — first, Brenda Winstead.
Bettie Higgs then explained all first- and second-place winners will go to the Western Region Mini Conference in July to compete against other counties for the chance to go on to the TAFCE State Conference competition in November.
Door prizes were then drawn and dispensed.
Carolyn Maxey, treasurer, announced the high bids on the silent auction items and stated that the group made $370.50 this year.
The benediction was given using the “FCE Creed” repeated in unison.     Published in The WCP 4.24.12

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