Celebrating homemaking and much more

Next week dedicated to HCE organizations

Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent

Photo by Carol Wagner Nov. 6-11 is National Home and Community Education Week (HCE). Helen Raddant, left, executive board president, and Nancy Schultz, family living educator for the Shawano County University of Wisconsin-Extension, gave a presentation recently at the Shawano County Courthouse on different ways to use mason jars.

Nov. 6-11 is National Home and Community Education Week (HCE). Homemaker clubs began in Shawano County in the 1920s when women had meetings to learn skills like how to cut and fit a dress and canning meat.

Then there were monthly meetings, and in 1935, Marjorie McDowell was first the home agent in Shawano County. Several women followed and the title changed to family living education, and Nancy Schultz serves in that position today.

In 1958, there were 67 clubs with 960 members. Now, there are nine clubs with 88 members along with individual members.

Clubs were under Shawano County Homemakers, and now all the clubs are part of Home and Community Education, a nonprofit educational organization with member associations in 61 counties in Wisconsin.

Executive board president Helen Raddant has been a member for 37 years.

“It’s very educational,” she said. “You meet new people.”

HCE is through the Shawano County University of Wisconsin-Extension. Clubs are divided into three centers, where each is responsible for planning special events for the entire county.

One or two members from each club can attend lessons at the courthouse each month, except in summer, given by Schultz and then share it with their club.

“We learn things about health and current topics,” Raddant said.

The members do several community projects including donating to the Red River Riders, the Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee, Safe Haven, and SAFPARC. They give money for a scholarship and for Shawano County Fair and 4-H awards.

Countywide, they sponsor the Wisconsin Bookworm project. Members read or do an activity related to a book at Shawano Head Start, Bonduel Bear Cubs, and Stockbridge-Munsee Head Start. Each child is then given the book. Money for this project is earned working at the brat stand at Charlie’s County Market and a bake sale at the Farmer’s Market.

Another county project is Patty Pumpkin Seed where each first grade child is given seeds to plan and grow and then take to the Shawano County Fair for judging.

Other officers are Janet Lane, secretary, and JoAnn Fehrman, treasurer. Center chairs are Carol Sybeldon, Sandy Smith, and Eleanor Borre. Sandy Wendorff is the chair of the Wisconsin Bookworms.