The Bladen County ECA (formerly Homemakers) held their Achievement Program for the year 2002 at the Powell-Melvin Agricultural Services Center Auditorium in Elizabethtown on January 30.
The contribution of the ECA to Bladen County is counted in volunteer hours. In 2002, there were only six clubs with 78 members, and they totaled 38,701 volunteer hours to the community and the Association.
The Achievement Program was sponsored by Campbell Oil Company and Wachovia Bank. Wayne Edge and his wife, Anita, represented Campbell Oil.
Among the many activities that took place at the program were the installation of officers, presentation of awards to various clubs, recognition of club officers and new members, and a speech by then-Bladen County Extension Director Martha Warner.
Her thoughts to members paralleled the year's theme, "Toot Your Own Horn."
"Our association has excelled this year because of the outstanding contributions from each member and officer," Joan Marion, first vice president of the group, in her opening remarks in the awards program. "The achievement program is our opportunity to congratulate and honor those individuals and clubs who have given tirelessly of themselves to improve the lives of others in our communities throughout Bladen County."
New officers are: Dianna Roberts, president; Judy Elkins, vice-president; Linda Rivenbark, secretary; Margene Lockamy, treasurer; and Joan Marion, advisor.
New members recognized and their clubs were: Tammy Chavis, Brown Marsh; Mary Hollis, Bonita Jefferson, and Carolyn Richardson, Colly; Linda Rivenbark, Tomorrow's; and Howard Elkins, the group's first male member for Bladen, at-large.
Each year the ECA honors an individual from each club as the club's outstanding member. These individuals are selected by their clubs for their service to the organization and its goals. Honored this year as outstanding members were: Dianna Grooms Roberts, Bethel; Margene Lockamy, Bladen Springs; Jean Gibson, Brown Marsh; Dorothy McKoy, Colly; Joan Marion, Lillie Hester; and Wanda Burch, Tomorrow's.
The group then honored the presidents of the various clubs and the county officers for their contributions. There were 20 members who participated in the 2002 Certified Volunteer Units Service program. Eleven were recognized for contributing over 500 hours. Two members, Dianna Grooms Roberts and Ceceile Bryan of the Bethel Club, have contributed over 8,000 hours and will receive a special pin from the state office.
Those who have contributed 500 hours or more are: Joan Marion of Lillie Hester, 3,979 hours; Judy Elkins of Tomorrow's Club, 3,120 hours; Linda Rivenbark of Tomorrow's Club, 2,290; Ceceile Bryan of the Bethel Club, 2,014 hours; Dianna Roberts, Bethel, 1,761 hours; Debbie Heustess, Tomorrow's Club, 1,335 hours; Wanda Burch, Tomorrow's Club, 1,210 hours; Nancy Byrd, Tomorrow's Club, 941 hours; Earlene Stacker, Tomorrow's Club, 931 hours; Margie Bordeaux, Bethel Club, 550 hours; and Ann Hall of Tomorrow's Club, 507 hours.
Members who serve more than 2,000 hours receive a CVU pin with three gold seals; 1,500 hours receive a pin with two gold seals; 1,000, hours a CVU pin with one gold seal; and 500 hours, the CVU pin and a certificate.
The Robert W. Marion Outstanding Club Award was presented to Tomorrow's Club which earned points on a score sheet for outstanding club achievements. Among some of the club highlights: they made pillows for breast cancer patients, participated in Relay For Life; held Christmas dinner for the Spanish Mission; taught crafts to senior groups; held a benefit tea for the Bladen County Literacy Council; handed out school kits for the needy; and sent Girl Scout cookies to soldiers in Afghanistan and Shoe Boxes for Appalachian Church project.
Members of Tomorrow's Club are Nancy Byrd, Mary Alice Packer, Judy Elkins, Wanda Burch, Ann Hall, Ann Heustess, Vickie Edwards, Gail Edwards, Debbie Heustess, Phyllis Long, Rosa White, Earlene Stacker, and Linda Rivbenbark.
The Marion Award is named in memory of Robert W. Marion, son and brother of ECA members Adeline and Joan Marion.
The club awarded second place in the outstanding club category was Bladen Springs. Among activities the club members participated in: sponsored five residents at nursing center; prepared dinner in June and December for family and community; and made ten caps for newborns.
Members of the Bladen Springs club are: Katrine Munroe, Margaret Beard, Elizabeth Priest, Vonnie Ray Guyton, Virginia Gause, Lillian White, Annie Sasser, Linda White, Carol Hardin, Judy Guyton, Mary Lou Jessup, Dora Register, Barbara Saunder, Margene Lockamy, Jane Benovitz, Dale Melvin, Patsy Saunders, and Jessica White.
Awarded third place in the outstanding club category was Bethel. Among activities the club participated in: prepared 98 goodie bags for the Elizabethtown Nursing Center; visited the Coastal Carolina Museum; attended training session at Camp Caraway; attended district and state ECA meetings; and helped organize a reception for Sandra Kelly.
Members of the Bethel Club are: Louise W. Bryan, Mary W. Bordeaux, Ceceile Bryan, Lannie B. McKee, Anne O'Briant, Lee N. Singletary, Catherine A. DeVane, Dianne G. Roberts, and Lib Morris.
The Tomorrow's Club received the Jane Ross Community Service Award. This $100 cash award is presented annually by Jane Ross, who served as Home Economics Extension Agent in the county for 31 years.
In 1999, the Bladen County Extension and Community Association established an award to honor an Outstanding Volunteer member. The Outstanding Volunteer for the year 2002 is Joan Marion, president of both the Lillie Hester club and the county association. She has logged 3,979 hours, reached 13,385 people, and traveled 10,425 miles performing volunteer work for her church, community and the ECA Association. She has served on the county council, several committees and has attended district and state meetings.
She is active at her church, works with the Hispanic community, is District Zone Chair for the Lions Club, is a volunteer for the Bladen Hospital Auxiliary, and serves on the board of the Bladen Literacy Council.
Bladen ECA also has a Cultural Arts contest. The first place county winners who advanced to the district competition held in March were: Cathy Fields, Jean Gibson, Dorothy McKoy, Anne O'Briant, Linda Rivenbark, Dianna Roberts, Vera Royal, and Earlene Stacker.