OHCE celebrates 100th anniversary

Kathryn SwanJ-C Correspondent
OHCE celebrates 100th anniversary

The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service recently held a “Meet and Greet” at the Pawhuska Community Center to celebrate the organization’s 100th anniversary. Established under the Smith-Lever Act, the Cooperative Extension Service is a state-by-state national network of educators who extend university-based research and knowledge to the public.

Creative displays focused on 4-H, Agriculture, Leadership Development, Family and Consumer Sciences along with Community and Economic Development. Vintage yearbooks and photographs dating back to the 1920s featured OHCE and 4-H members, including 1920 Mound Valley, one of Osage County’s earliest clubs. Another showcased a 1929 group of OHCE volunteers who drove 75 miles to cook for 150 women. Lifetime OHCE member Francis Gardner was depicted in a large group photo when her club traveled to Washington, DC, to meet Congress.

In honor of OHCE’s birthday, table tops were adorned with intricately hand-pieced quilts. Included was a quilt by Yvonna Purvine Garrett’s mother that incorporated her 4-H ribbons. Purvine’s father, George, was Principal of the Nelagoney School during the 1940’s.

There are four OHCE chapters in Osage County with an OHCE Council led by President Dee Chambers, Vice President Anita Springer, Secretary Lakita Tanner of Sand Creek, and Treasurer Renee Weyl of Burbank. OHCE chapters include Burbank, DoBees, Sand Creek and WahShaShe.

Chambers has been an active OHCE member for the past ten years. She admitted to taking time off during the 1980’s to rear her family. Many of the other members attending the anniversary fete are lifetime members, including 95-year old Frances Gardner of Sand Creek.

Chambers said, “Each OHCE club also tackles projects for their respective communities. For example, my Sand Creek chapter adopted the backpack program. Several of our ladies meet every Tuesday in Barnsdall for the of Quilts of Valor program. We’ve bought cassette recorders for schools and annually adopt families for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Chambers said, “We are interested in signing up new members and possibly start a club in Pawhuska. We could start a club with as little as five members but ten would be better. Noon or evening meetings are options.”

Weyl added, “Today’s women can get the latest information on insecticides, including how to make home-made insecticides if they want to go green. We can show working mothers how to prepare nutritious, easy-to-make meals. We can provide lots of great information for the DIYer, including the latest USDA upgrades on canning techniques – all at no cost to the public.”

For more information about OHCE, contact Jessica Jantzen or Will Cubbage at the OSU Extension office. Call 918-287-4170 or visit the office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 108 E. Seventh in Pawhuska.