Over 200 women converge for District EHC conference
Hempstead Hall hosts third annual state regional event
By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
Over 200 women from across 25 southern Arkansas counties were at Hempstead Hall on Tuesday for the 2018 Ouachita District Extension Homemakers Conference, the third consecutive one hosted in Hope.
The annual event brings together members of County Extension Homemakers Clubs for educational speeches, updates on membership, and several guest presentations.
Terrie James, staff chair of the Hempstead County Arkansas Extension said, “We have 25 counties that have come today for the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council; this is the Ouachita District, and we have people from as far away as Polk County, Bradley County, and Pulaski County. These ladies have been in existence for over 100-plus years.”
“They have three things that they work on: community service, education, and volunteering,” said James, who acts at the Hempstead group’s advisor.
State President Karen Bell Fox said, “Basically, this is our outreach to members who can not come to state, or can attend some of our other activities. We have had some great speakers, plus we have members recognized for over 25 years of service.”
“The Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council is the largest volunteer organization in the state of Arkansas. We have almost 400 clubs and 3,800 members,” she said.
In unexpected Halloween fashion, the group experienced a “lights out” period, when an abupt power outage occurred at Hempstead Hall, right before the group’s luncheon. Power was restored with 24 minutes, however, and both the luncheon and the afternoon session of conference went on as normal.
Afterwards, James said, “Everyone just laughed it off; we took a break, had lunch and it was back to business.”