The Jackson County Oklahoma Home and Community (OHCE) Achievement Banquet, “The Light Between the Oceans,” was held on Thursday, Jan. 16 at Western Oklahoma State College, in memory of former Jackson County OHCE President, the late Margarette Sampler.
“I learned from my friend Margarette that you don’t have to slow down with age,” said Mitzi Pate, who formally dedicated the program in honor of Sampler. “There’s many places to go, many people to help, many things to see, and many projects to be done. Certainly through her many activities, projects and donations of time and effort, Margarette will be remembered by the Jackson County OSU Extension Office as a strong extension program supporter, a valued member of the county OHCE program, but maybe more importantly she will be remembered for her special and lively personality, her quick wit, and her love of life that she brought to all the activities she participated in.” Sampler, who passed away in August, 2013, was remembered for her participation in judging 4-h sewing events and other Jackson County Fair activities, as well as serving as a Jackson County Fair Ambassador for many years.
OHCE Leadership Development Chairperson, Dorothy Davis, read a quote from author Mark Twain, in memory of her close friend, Sampler. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sail, explore, dream, and discover.” Davis then gave the invocation before inviting attendees to fill their plates in the food line.
Following lunch, Tillman County FCS Educator, Carol Hart, presented 2014 Achievement Awards.
Julie Miller won the “Young Member of the Year” award as someone being 35 years of age or younger, active on both County and local level serving as an officer or committee chairperson. Miller is the Cross Road Friends Secretary and serves on the County Fair Board.
April Sirmons won the “Rookie of the Year” award for having been a member for no more than four years, serving on both County or local level serving as an officer or committee chairperson. Sirmons is the Cross Road Friends OHCE Treasurer, and participates in the Dental health Awareness Kindergarten Presentations, and also blanket donation programs for retirement and nursing homes.
Dana Butchee won the “Heart of OHCE” award as someone who promotes family values in education, morals, and responsibility, and for volunteering much time to the community and OHCE. Butchee is a 2-year member of Cross Road Friends, has hosted many meetings at her home, and arranged quest speakers for those events. She is also President of Jackson County Fair Board.
Guest speaker Eddie Wilcoxen then read a poem called, “Light Between the Oceans,” written for the OHCE Banquet, and recognized the work and effort of the OHCE that is done throughout the year. Wilcoxen, with his wife Joan, is the Co-President of the Poet Society of Oklahoma for 2014-2015, and was the 2011-2012 Oklahoma Poet Laurete.
Next, Sue Overstreet presented Service and Appreciation Awards to Merlene Cahart, Mary Easley, and Dorothy Lance, and gave gifts to honor guests Eddie and Joan Wilcoxen, Lynn Null, Mitzi Pate, and Carol Hart, to show appreciation for their involvement and support of the OHCE program.
Comanche County FCS Educator, Lynn Null, then presented the 2014-2015 Installation of Officers for Jackson County OHCE, including OHCE President Idel Colberson, Vice President Sue Overstreet, Secretary Lavern Powell, and Treasurer Pam Booker.