One of Rockdale’s favorite clubs could use help

Neighbor Grover sez he can’t understand why “abbreviated” is such a long word.

T here’s a group of ladies special in the hearts of a lot of people in these parts, and they need support in the form of new members.

The New Salem Home Demonstration Club was organized in 1929 and it has been a vital part of our community since. They derive their income from the rental of their New Salem Clubhouse for all sorts of community events, benefits, charitable activities and such.

They also generate income by feeding the masses breakfast and lunch during the Rockdale Fair, and by feeding the Rockdale Rotary Club once a month, always a delicious home-style meal. They once did that every week until their ranks thinned to the point it was about to work just a few fine ladies into the ground.

Regarding their income, they always plow it back into the community in scholarships and in donations to just about any and every worthy cause that comes along, not the least of which is the Rockdale Fair Association. Their Clubhouse hosts the Fair’s Home Economics Division every year, and the members take care of a multitude of duties at that event.

I started this column out by referring to this organization as the New Salem Home Demonstration Club. That was its original title in 1929. Actually, the club is now the New Salem Extension Education Association ( EEA) Club.

A little history is in order to explain the name changes the club has actually undergone over the years.

New Salem, Branchville, and Friendly Progressive are the three Milam County EEA clubs. They are units of a statewide organization, the Texas Extension Education Association, Inc. (TEEA).

In 1912, Edna Trigg was appointed as the first Texas Home Demonstration Agent in Milam County. She first worked with farm girls, and later with their mothers, teaching them how to grow, prepare and can tomatoes.

By 1914 and 1915, Tomato Clubs were organized and by 1917 Home Demonstration Clubs were holding regular meetings. The first association meetings were reported in 1924.

Home Demonstration Clubs changed names as follows:

• E x ten sion Homema ker s Clubs, in 1979.

• Family and Community Education Clubs, in 1993.

• Extension Education Association Clubs in 2000.

It’s still difficult for me to remember not to refer to these fine club ladies as the New Salem Home Demonstration Club, or their home base as the New Salem Home Demonstration Clubhouse.

Club members would welcome help. If you think you might be interested, you can contact any member easily because you probably have known several of them for a long time.

Current members are Susan Hicks, president; Barbara Walko, vice-president; Marilyn Hicks, secretary; Debbie Konarik, treasurer; Betty Backhaus, Jo Randall, Carolyn Taylor, Netilee Korenek, Lizzie Lucas, Renate Rocha, Florian Skubal, Vivian Yezak, Nancy Griffith and Connie Hamilton.

Give any of them a call for more information about the organization, or call County Extension Agent Cheryl Walker, 254-697- 7045.

Peruse the club’s creed:

We believe in the sanctity of the home.

We believe the home is the place where love, faith, trust and devotion must be lived each day, where obedience and reverence grow, and where God is known.

We believe those within its walls should be taught to work, to play, and to have compassion for those less fortunate.

We believe sharing responsibilities is necessary and that from the fireside will come the citizens who will uphold the best ways of life.

Home demonstration indeed.

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2011-05-12 digital edition

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