“Reach New Heights with Team FCE” was the Western Region theme for TAFCE 2011 Conference in Jackson on July 27, 2011. The conference was conducted at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center. There were twenty FCE members from McNairy County.
Each year members in each region conduct a mini conference prior to the state annual conference to select regional winners in fashion revue, cultural arts and creative writing to represent the Western Region at the State FCE Conference. This year the State FCE Conference will be held at Pigeon Forge, November 7-9. Interested FCE members need to pre-register for this state conference by September 1. Registration packets can be picked up at the Extension office or will be distributed at local FCE meetings in August. Conference planning committee has a very interesting program planned for participants which includes special walk-in project sessions, educational programs, tours, TAFCE business session, and member recognitions. This is an excellent opportunity for members to share experiences and make new friends. So plan to attend the 2011 FCE Annual Conference, “The Thread that Binds: FCE”.
The goals of FCE are impacted by attending and participating in events such as the Western Region mini conference. Carol Reece’s program “Plants that Tell a Story” definitely challenged each to improve home and community life. One main item of interest pointed out in her presentation is that some plants can be used in home landscaping to increase or decrease the estrogen levels. Carol definitely strengthened adult education with her presentation. The gardens were open at the Research Center for participants to view but with the temperatures reaching to the high 90’s many opted out of this experience. The McNairy County FCE members traveled courtesy of the Southwest Human Resource Agency with Don Coln being the driver. Don was gracious in dropping off and picking up participants at the door.
Each year during FCE mini-conference a basket auction is conducted as a ways and means for FCL. FCL is state leadership workshops to prepare participants for involvement in public policy decision-making affecting families and communities. The Western Region can send six delegates each year to this event. McNairy County’s FCE basket was “Tea for Two” and raised $55.00 for FCL. Each county in the Western region either makes and brings a basket or donates $50 for FCL ways and means.
The 2012 FCE Annual Conference will be hosted by the Western Region and a theme contest was conducted. Members were requested to vote on the theme they preferred that the Western Region President, Patty Mayhall will present to the state FCE board for acceptance. Choices were: “Kicking High with FCE” and “Western FCE Roundup”. The western theme was selected by one vote from participants. Jane Fisher, Obion County will serve as the 2012 Conference Coordinator and passed out information form to each FCE County Council Presidents for county committee appointments.. Everyone is encouraged to be actively involved in the Western Region in hosting this conference. September 19 will be the first conference planning meeting, which will be conducted in Jackson at the Research Center beginning at 9:30 a.m. If you are interested in assisting with the 2012 conference mark your calendar and plan to attend the first planning session.
The business meeting was conducted with seventeen voting delegates from the Western Region. FCE County Council Presidents are voting delegates representing all FCE members from their counties. McNairy County Council President, Diane Uher was present for the meeting and voted for McNairy County. There were four by-law changes presented, three of the four passed as read and one was amended and passed. Discussion was also conducted on the Western Region Line and Design Camp that was conducted at the UT Martin campus for 4-H members from the region. There were sixty 4-H’ers in attendance at this camp with Western Region FCE giving sponsorship money for individual scholarships. Plans are to continue this endeavor. The business session was concluded.
Participants enjoyed a delicious catered luncheon of Barbecue and all the fixings. The afternoon session featured the FCE Fashion Revue. Participants modeled their fashion ensembles in eleven categories, first place in each category will compete in the State FCE Fashion Revue competition in Pigeon Forge in November. Rita Casey received a first place in the recycled garment category for a red, white and blue vest made from a pair of shorts. The Cultural Arts entries in forty one categories were judged during the morning session and participants were permitted during lunch to view. First and second place will advance to the state competition. Terri Embrey was a first place winner with her baby quilt. Creative Writing winners were announced with the first and second placing in each category advancing to state competition. There are 6 categories for creative writing, Rita Casey placed first in the miscellaneous category with her entry on “Grandchildren”. The number of FCE members reporting 500 hours of community service was announced and members will be recognized in the annual FCE program and report. McNairy County had 15 members reporting 11,000 hours of community service volunteer hours expended other than to family for the year. Volunteering can be fun and personally rewarding. CVU’s are submitted by counties in 500 hour increments. Members will receive certificates and seals after the annual conference.
“Best of the Best” award was also announced. This award recognizes and honors outstanding members of TAFCE who have given over and beyond the norm in the performance of duties as a volunteer, though unselfish acts for the betterment of their community. Each county may submit one nominee. McNairy County submitted Gloria Coln and she was announced as the regional winner. Gloria’s nomination along with the winner from the two other regions will be judged and a state winner will be announced at the 2011 conference.
Mini-Conference concluded with members being asked to participate in evaluating the day’s activities. Evaluations help the planning committee find out what can be done to make Mini-Conference better.
Upcoming FCE activities and events include the County Wide FCE Summer Celebration on August 3, hosted by the Stantonville FCE Club. “It’s A Picnic” is the theme and each participant is asked to bring a dish for a potluck luncheon at the Stantonville Community Center at noon on August 3. A drawing will be conducted for the last quilt from the quilt block challenge activity. Tickets for the drawing may be purchased prior to or at the meeting on August 3rd. Ticket price is: 1 for $1 or 6 for $5. If you have questions or concerns about FCE please call the local extension office 645-3598.