It’s autumn and farmers are harvesting their crop which brings satisfaction and a reward for their labors.
Likewise in autumn, the members of Mason County CEOS celebrate their achievements with a Fall Achievement Banquet. This year this event was held on October 22, at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in New Haven, with the Avalanche Club hosting the meeting. The theme was “Let Your Light Shine” and guests were welcomed into a room filled with lights and decorated very appropriately in line with the theme. Favors were pint-size Mason jars which had been painted and decorated and contained a lighted tea candle.
Clinedda Austin, county president, called the meeting to order. Patty Johnson, president of the Avalanche Club welcomed the group. The club led the salute to the United States flag. Patsy Keathley presented the meditations and read scripture from Matthew 5: 13-16 which was a part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount concerning letting your light shine. After a moment of silence for the Litchfield family, the group repeated the Lord’s Prayer and sang together “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning.”
After the normal business meeting reports were given on past and upcoming events sponsored by the CEOS. Helen Lyons reported on the Fall Conference held at Jackson’s Mill. Catherine Yauger reported on the “Harvest of Quilts” Quilt show held at the West Virginia State Farm Museum in conjunction with their Fall Festival on Oct. 1-2, where 44 quilts were exhibited by 22 exhibitors, 276 guests registered from 16 states and the District of Columbia.
The Breast Cancer Awareness wreath hanging was held at the Mason County Library on Oct. 3, with Dr. Robin Tolbert as guest speaker. Lana Rifle, a breast cancer survivor also spoke.
Events reported on included the Breast Cancer Awareness walk which was scheduled for Oct. 29 at the Riverfront Park starting with a pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m. The Handmade Holiday Craft Show was on Nov. 5 at the First Church of God Ministry Center. The 2016 Holiday Workshop was held at the New Hope Baptist Church on Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Pleasant Club was in charge of this. Ideas will be given for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
The president recognized and gave certificates of appreciation to several individuals and committees. She expressed the organization’s appreciation to the office staff at the West Virginia Extension Office. She recognized past county presidents, only three were in attendance: Helen Lyons 1985-87 and 2004 and 2012-13. Catherine Yauger, 2007-08, Eleanor Hoffman 2009-11.
A special interest group which was organized by the CEOS, the book club which meets bi-monthly at the home of Evalee McKinney was recognized. Reading is very important and greatly emphasized by the CEOS. Also at the Fall Conference each year a contest is held for short stories and poems written by members. This year a Mason County member, Mary Sue Kincaid, won third place in the state for her short story entitled “The Light House.” Mason County won second place in the state for the most books read which were not on the Purposeful Reading List. Each year the WVU sends out a list of books (Purposeful Reading) which they recommend to be read but members are encouraged to read any book. Total of non Purposeful Reading books read by Mason County members was 4,306.
The oldest member of the organization, Garnet Schwarz, and the youngest member, Anna May Keefer, were recognized. There are five clubs in Mason County with 77 members. Also recognized were two new male members. The CEOS is recruiting male members. They can play an important role in the clubs.
Past Folk Festival Belles in attendance and recognized were: Natalie Morgan, 2003-Marylin Higginbotham, 2005—Marge Blake, 2010—Phyllis Hesson, 2011 and Helen Lyons, 2014. April Pyles was also recognized as 2016 Folk Festival Belle. These ladies are selected from the membership and attend the Folk Festival at Glenville, representing Mason County. Not a one who has served in this capacity has not been thrilled with the experience.
Incoming Club Presidents were recognized; Avalanche, Patty Johnson—Camp Conley, Becky Haer—Leon, Natalie Morgan—Pleasant, Clinedda Austin—Wohelo, Marie Mayes.
Before lunch members formed a circle and played the game “Left-Right” with several nice gifts being won by the persons left holding the bag at the end of the game.
Lunch was served the the ladies of the St. Paul Lutheran Church.
After lunch the committees were recognized. These committees are a very important part of the organization. County chairpersons are Family, Sherry Mayes—Continuing Education, Clinedda Austin—Marketing and Membership, Eleanor Hoffman—Purposeful Reading, Marilyn Clarke. These ladies all have people in their club serving with them and the chairpersons recognized the individual club committee members.
Certificates were given for volunteer hours: Jackie Scarberry, 500—Clinedda Austin, 500—Marylin Higginbotham, 1000—-Stella Morgan, 1000—Darlene Haer, 1000—-Koneda Devrick, 2000—Avalanche Club, 1000 and the Leon Club, 1000. It was reported that at the Fall Conference only 29 counties reported volunteer hours and the total for the 29 counties was 551,500. These volunteer hours are valued at $23.56 each making total volunteer hours to communities in West Virginia worth $12,993,340.00
Others recognized were clubs who had hosted special events during the year, club presidents, county officers, county historian, Eleanor Hoffman, Memorial Book, Darlene Haer ,PVNRC, Yvonne Fetty and Anne Byus, 4-H Senior Awards committee-Eleanor Hoffman, April Pyles and Koneda Devrick.
Lorrie Wright, Mason County Extension Agent, installed the new officers for 2017 using the theme of light and the Scripture Matthew 5:16 She lit a blue candle representing the organization and officers lit a white candle from the blue one as they were read their duties and responsibilities and asks to accept these. She closed by saying “Keep your clubs path well-lit so that members can follow you easily and willingly. Be a light that leads to the successful completion of all club goals and projects. Just as the candles you have lit are now burning brightly may the new officers of this organization lead your club to a bright future for many years. Officers installed were: President Clinedda Austin; Secretary Catherine Yauger; Treasurer Marie Mayes; Sherry Mayes will serve as vice president but was not present.
Part of the decorations for the day was a beautiful fall lighted scene wall art and these were given as door prizes which were won by Patsy Keathley, Jeanette McDaniel, Natalie Morgan, Garnet Schwarz and Betty Mayes. Total attendance was 27.
Submitted by Secretary Catherine Yauger.