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GOSHEN, IN --

"Gratitude is an Attitude" was the theme of the annual Achievement Night for Elkhart County Extension Homemakers, Monday, April 18, 2016. The evening took place in the Elkhart County Community Center on the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen.

LuAnn Sassaman, Goshen, Friends & Neighbors, served as chair of the Achievement Night committee and began the evening by welcoming guests. Lucy Bontrager, Middlebury, Homemakers of Today led the Pledge of Allegiance and Club Creed and LuAnn Sassaman said the invocation and invited all to partake in the salad and dessert smorgasbord.

The newly elected County Officers for the 2016-2017 club year were installed by Extension Educator Mary Ann Lienhart Cross. They are: President Michelle Blough, Goshen, Four Seasons; Vice President Janet Ryman, Goshen, Busy Homemakers; Secretary Denise Goveia, Goshen, Friends & Neighbors; Treasurer Shirley Hershberger, Bristol, York Homemakers; Assistant Treasurer Kathy Stoltzfus, Goshen, Creative Circle; and Advisor Tena Jakubowicz, Middlebury, Homemakers of Today. Immediate past President, Donna Hibschman, Syracuse, Hex Rural was honored for her service with a silver tray.

Outstanding Clubs of the Year were recognized and presented certificates for the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Club level. This year 16 clubs participated in the recognition system. The traveling gavel was presented to the Club of the Year club president Jeannine Talley, Middlebury, of Middlebury Extension Homemakers. A special plaque with the club's name hangs in the Home and Family Arts Building.

Clubs earning the Gold Award and their presidents were: Busy Homemakers, Alice Moy, Goshen; Clinton Classics, Joan Bailey, Goshen; Faithful Friends, Kristina Peterson, Goshen; Four Seasons, Michelle Blough, Goshen; Friends & Neighbors, Rebecca Smuts, Goshen; Hex Rural, Donna Hibschman, Syracuse; Homemakers of Today, Sherry Berry, Middlebury; York Homemakers, Shirley Hershberger, Bristol.

Clubs earning the Silver Award and their presidents were: Clinton Clique, Jacque Miller, Goshen; Jefferson Homemakers, Jo Ann Fisher, Bristol; Modern Homemakers, Kimberly McCreary, Goshen; and Zion Homemakers, Beth Phillips, Bristol.

The Bronze Award was presented to the following clubs and presidents: Bound-4-Knowledge, Joellen Allison, Goshen; Creative Circle, Kathy Stoltzfus, Goshen; and Fairfield Homemakers, Joanne Holtzinger, Goshen.

County President Tena Jakubowicz and Extension Educator Mary Ann Lienhart Cross presented certificates to the following members who served as chairpersons of county committees: Jennifer Chupp, Shirley Hershberger, Donna Hibschman, Mariann Hollopeter, Jenny Huffman, Tena Jakubowicz, Barbara Jewett, Kristina Peterson, LuAnn Sassaman, Linda Weltz, Linda Weybright, Margaret Weybright, and Maryann Zerbe.

A special highlight of the evening was the announcement of the Homemaker of the Year winners. The Extension Homemaker clubs may nominate one member for each of the three age categories. “Young Homemaker” age 44 or younger; “Intermediate Homemaker” from 45 to 64 years of age; and “Senior Homemaker” age 65 and over. The candidate and her club fill out the application where the following questions are answered: 1. How do you view your role as a homemaker? 2. In addition to homemaking, what is your present and/or past occupation or profession? 3. Describe some of the activities you have completed as a member or volunteer in the following: a. Extension Homemaker Club; b. Church and Community Service; c. Past and present activities with or for your children or children in general; and d. Personal and Family goals.

The following Elkhart County businesses provided the winners with various gifts: Dana J’s Deli and Fine Meats, Goshen; First State Bank, Goshen; Hawkins Water Tech, Inc., Middlebury; Joanne Hartman, Mary Kay Cosmetics; Kroger Foods, Goshen; Snider’s Leading Jewelers, Inc., Goshen; and Woldruff’s Footwear, Goshen.

Those honored with nominations by their clubs in the senior category were: Norma Hilbish, Syracuse, Hex Rural; Ramona Huber, Goshen, Busy Homemakers; and Garlene Stone, Goshen, Modern Homemakers.

The winner in the senior category was Ramona Huber, a 29-year member currently with the Busy Homemakers club. She and her Husband, Roy, enjoy spending time at the campgrounds with their 19-year old blue and gold macaw, Maverick. Maverick is quite the entertainer, riding around on their golf cart and inviting strangers to their campsite. Ramona has served as chairperson of multiple committees, Director of the Home and Family Arts department, held all capacities of office within her club and served as the Michigan City District Representative.

Those honored with the intermediate category nomination were: Cheryl Hoffman, Middlebury, Homemakers of Today; and Brenda Mestach, New Paris, Friends & Neighbors.

Brenda Mestach, winner of the Intermediate category, is a 4-year member of the Friends and Neighbors Extension Homemaker Club. She and her husband, Tim, have six children and 12 grandchildren, 11 who live in Elkhart County. Brenda feels very blessed to fulfill her calling of being Music Director at St. Andrews United Methodist Church. She also teaches voice at Concord and Fairfield schools.

Our Young Homemaker of the Year, Ashley Witmer, Goshen, is a member of the Friends & Neighbors Extension Homemaker Club. Ashley and her husband Dustin have 4 children, ages 5, 3, 2, and 1. She enjoys scrapbooking, crafting, and crocheting, and started her own business making vintage signs and décor from old pallets and repurposed wood.

A special memorial service was conducted for deceased members by committee members Debbie George, Wakarusa, Progressive Homemakers and Cathy Van Huystee, Elkhart, Four Seasons.

Tena Jakubowicz and Jennifer Chupp presented certificates to the following new members: Four Seasons—Kathy Overholt; Friends & Neighbors—Nikki Stump and Ashley Witmer; Hex Rural—Georgia Gouin, Betty Kern, and Diane Symensma; Homemakers of Today—Elaine Sheets; Pie-Gabba-Sew—Janet Little; and Progressive Homemakers—Sherrill Glick and Teresa Wells.

Special recognition was given to members with 50 years Extension Homemaker membership: Roanne Prough, Goshen, Be-Y’s Extension Homemakers and Beth Noaker, Wakarusa, Progressive Homemakers.

Twenty-five-year members were recognized on stage and certificates were presented to Holly Leeper, Goshen of Busy Homemakers and Fern Mast, Goshen of Fairfield Homemakers.

Long-term Extension Homemakers were recognized for those whose membership has gone beyond 50 years. Members are recognized at the platinum level at 70 years membership; gold level at 65 years membership; silver level at 60 years membership; and bronze level at 55 years membership.

LaVeta Neff, Goshen, New Paris Homemakers was recognized at the platinum level. Members recognized at the gold level were Delores Garber and Irene Kauffman, both of Goshen and Clinton Classics Extension Homemaker club. Beverly Miller, Middlebury, of Middlebury Homemakers was recognized at the bronze level.

The chairperson for the Achievement Night event was LuAnn Sassaman, Advisor Cathy Van Huystee, and committee members Sandy Bartoe, Lucy Bontrager, Donna Hibschman, Shirley Hoover, Jeannine Talley, and Extension Educator Mary Ann Lienhart Cross.

16-17 Board Members from L to R: County President Michelle Blough, Vice President Janet Ryman, Secretary Denise Goveia, Treasurer Shirley Hershberger, Asst. Treasurer Kathy Stoltzfus and County Advisor Tena Jakubowicz.

HOY Winners from L to R: Senior Homemaker of the Year Ramona Huber, Intermediate Homemaker of the Year Brenda Mestach, and Young Homemaker of the Year Ashley Witmer.

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