Luncheon message: Ladies can shine
The work done by local and state Extension and Community Associations is commendable, said North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, and should be expanded.
Marshall was the keynote speaker at the 27th annual Farm-City Week Ladies Luncheon Wednesday at the McSwain Extension Education and Agriculture Center.
"Being with extension folks is like a homecoming to me," Marshall said. More than 150 women gathered for the annual event of fellowship.
The values that ECAs instill not only help people live physically healthy lives, but mentally, financially and spiritually healthy ones as well, she said.
Cooperative Extensions across the state, including Lee County, have celebrated the 100th anniversary of North Carolina Extension and Community Associations, formerly home demonstration clubs, which provide education about healthy lifestyles and living simply.
"People today are unable to slow down enough to enjoy themselves and their family," Marshall said.
Women, in particular those involved with ECAs, need to lend their knowledge and voices when they encounter problems in their lives and communities, she said.
"Find new ways to have your voice and values be heard," Marshall said. "You have a lot of ways to shine."
Lee County ECA member and State Advisory Council member Sylvia Churchwell said the women at the luncheon and in ECA organizations have helped improve the lives of their families and their communities through their work and service.
"They taught women how to can food, prepare healthy meals, make clothes from the husband's [scraps] and help the children learn the economics of a family farm," Churchwell said.
The ladies luncheon, she said, is a wonderful event and worth celebrating each year with joy.
Table decorations, featuring the theme of vintage Christmas, were provided by Lemon Springs ECA, Carolina Farm Credit, Hearts and Hands ECA, Sanford Women's Club, Kiwanis Club of Sanford, Lee County Master Gardeners, Lee County Partnership for Children, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Central Electric Membership Corporation and Vantage South Bank/Kiwanis Club of Lee County. The Lee County Partnership for Children was recognized as having the best decorated table.