NORMAN — Cleveland County OHCE members will celebrate 96 years of helping improve quality of life of all Oklahomans from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the Cleveland County Extension Office, 601 E. Robinson St., by inviting the public to their “96 Years of Community Service” event.
Speakers from Natural Grocers and the Stitching Post will be present. Numerous demonstrations will be given, from needlework, canning, weaving, Native American Beadwork and quilting, and individuals can sew on community projects.
OHCE’s mission is to educate and prepare members to handle change in their homes and communities. With its close ties to the Oklahoma State Cooperative Extension, OHCE members have access to research-based information, and they use that know-how to help residents across the state.
After awarding $113,585 in scholarships to Oklahoma students and for various projects in 2012, OHCE groups are responsible for pouring more than $166,085 into Oklahoma communities in the past two years.
Several Cleveland County OHCE groups, who are 90 years old, have a jump on the state organization. They began meeting 10 years prior to being officially recognized. OHCE members volunteer countless hours for the military HUGS program, the Christmas Store, crisis centers, the Norman Veteran’s hospital and, more recently, literacy for children. Cleveland County OHCE also gives three $1,500 scholarships to high school seniors each year.
The organization also supports statewide initiatives such as Raising Young Readers, a reading program for preschoolers, and Water for All, an international effort OHCE supports by donating enough funds to drill an average of two wells per year.
This year marks the 78th anniversary of OHCE, which was established in Stillwater on July 24, 1935. There are 3,879 members statewide, including 147 in Cleveland County.
OHCE offers continuing education in all areas of home and community life. County-based groups partner with county Extension Family and Consumer Sciences educators and district and state Extension specialists to advance their mission. The organization is affiliated with the Associated Country Women of the World.