There is always something light-hearted that occurs during a gathering of Cumberland County Extension Homemakers.
This group of forty-nine intrepid ladies volunteered 5,474 hours in 2015 to the needs and joys of Cumberland County residents. The details of the Extension Homemakers programs were revealed at the recent Cumberland County Extension Homemakers Spring Meeting in Gray on May 17 by County Chairperson Marie Temm along with news that new Cumberland County Extension Homemaker groups are forming. On the state level, Maine Extension Homemakers volunteered 28,781 hours; donated $14,796.00 to organizations, agencies, groups and citizens; organizational service hours equal to $200,311. The 2016 beneficiary of Coins-for-Caring was EyeMax and ALS Northern New England for necessary technical upgrades to the Maine Extension Homemakers sponsored EyeMax computer used for communication by Mainers stricken by ALS.
Cumberland County Extension Homemakers donated to food programs, and members assisted in the operation of several local programs. Extension Homemaker educational programs included updates to home-prepared convenience mixes and food preservation, gardening, scam alerts, and learning about other countries and cultures. Various crafts were taught with many beautiful creations donated to the smallest of newborns, to give a smile to a senior, or add some comfort to a person in need at a hospital or at a shelter.
Back to the tale of the red hat - Cumberland County Extension Homemakers end their Spring Meeting with an auction. Auctioneer and Vice-Chair June O’Donnell often says something interesting about the item to be auctioned. The red hat was packaged carefully in its round box, not revealing its identity until the red felt came to light. So, there was not much that June could say ahead of time to build interest. She was encouraged to model the hat which brought a great smile to June. The bidding was lively. When it was over, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Educator Michaele Bailey did not hesitate to don her new red felt hat with a great contagious smile. A room of smiles is the lasting tale of the red hat.