NORMAN — Members of the Cleveland County Oklahoma Home and Community Education organization met recently in Norman for the group’s 78th state OHCE meeting.
Brenda Hill, Cleveland County Extension educator and county OHCE advisor, said she was excited with this year’s turnout of nearly 400 members.
“It is important for the group to get together annually so they can exchange ideas, learn new things at educational workshops and recognize the achievements of members over the past year,” Hill said.
Jorge Atiles, associate dean for Extension and Engagement and assistant director for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service at Oklahoma State University, agrees.
“It’s exciting to see how our OHCE groups are moving forward and continuing to be the best they can be,” said Atiles, who also serves as the OHCE state advisor. “I always come out of this meeting reenergized and filled with such gratitude for being a part of this organization.”
OHCE members, Hill said, are extremely active in the communities in an effort to enhance the lives of Oklahoma families.
“I’m excited OHCE members have returned home full of new ideas to implement in their communities,” Hill said.
Pam Vaughan, OHCE president, said the conference went well and the group was excited to be at their new meeting location, the Embassy Suites in Norman, and enjoyed the educational workshops.
“Gayla Mosteller, our vice-president for programs, worked hard to schedule popular and interesting sessions,” Vaughan said. “Our members always seem intent on taking materials with them to use in programs in their own counties. What’s great is they tailor the programs to fit individual needs.”
Guest speaker Scout Cloud Lee, a former contestant on the television show “Survivor,” is an entrepreneur. She inspires each person to “catch the fire of their spirit.” She also is an author, storyteller, singer, songwriter, rancher and corporate executive who lives by the slogan “light the fire within.”
A number of club members from Cleveland County were honored with a variety of awards. Those winning awards from Cleveland County include: Cleveland County OHCE for having the largest percentage present at the conference; Cleveland County OHCE for having the largest percentage of new members; Phyllis Embrey, of the Robinson OHCE group, first place on her life essay; Robinson OHCE group, first place for work in resource management; and Night Owls OHCE group, third place for membership.
In addition, four club members received awards, and Sandy Pogue, of Stephens County, was recognized as the OHCE Rookie of the Year. Another Stephens County resident, Barbara Cox, was named the OHCE Member of the Year. Sabrina Buxton, of Payne County, was recognized as the OHCE Young Member; and Marguerite McMurtrey, of Alfalfa County, received the Heart of OHCE Award.
The state meeting provided an opportunity to recognize those who have been members for 50, 60 and 70 years, as well as clubs that have been organized for 50 or more years.
In addition to selecting the group’s 2013-14 state officers, another highlight of the meeting was a variety of workshops. Topics included literary, gardening, healthy living, emergency preparedness and caregiving, to name a few.
“These times create memories and make us smile when we look back on them later,” Vaughan said. “It’s just like a big, happy family and that’s how we want to continue. In doing so, we may attract others to join us and become a branch of this family tree.”
For more information about joining Cleveland County’s Oklahoma Home and Community Education group, call 321-4774.