Piatt County
Association for Home and Community Education

About Us:

Piatt County AHCE is one of 72 Illinois county non-profit organizations united together for the purpose of offering educational programs to their members and others in their communities regardless of race, color, sex, religion, creed, or national origin.  Learning experiences include health education, nutrition, family and consumer economics, and personal development.  Many members volunteer time and contribute handmade items to charitable organizations throughout their communities.

Piatt County HCE:  A Brief History

2018 marks our 88th year.  We celebrated this momentous event at our Annual Meeting, a luncheon on October 27, 2018, at Friends Creek Community Building in Argenta, Illinois.

Original History:  AHCE in Piatt County had its genesis on August 14, 1930 at a meeting of 103 interested women from Piatt and Douglas Counties at the Atwood High School Gymnasium.  They formed a bi-county organization with 170 of its charter members residing in Piatt County.  At that time it was known as Home Bureau.  Mr. S .S. Davis, Farm Advisor with the University of Illinois Extension Services, was the original advisor for the organization.  Officers and directors were chosen equally from the two counties.  The first executive board was:

·         President – Mrs. John McCarty, Arcola

·         1st Vice President – Mrs. Charles Blickensderfer, Cerro Gordo

·         2nd Vice President – Mrs. Lester Smith, Tuscola

·         Secretary – Mrs. J. E. Miller

·         Treasurer – Miss Ann Knobloch

·         Board Members – Mrs. Ray Blaine, Mrs. Floyd Helm, Mrs. Horace Wyth, Mrs. Don Green,
 Mrs. Frank Terke, Mrs. Payne Heath, Mrs. Paul Kraws, Mrs. George Stager

The membership soon grew too large to continue on a bi-county basis, and on December 3, 1937, 200 members from Piatt County met at Monticello High School and formed the Piatt County Home Bureau.  At that time the Piatt County Membership stood at 308.  There were twelve original community Units in Piatt County:  Bement, Centerville, Cerro Gordo, Cisco, Deland, Hammond, LaPlace, Lodge, Mansfield, Milmine, Monticello, and Voorhies.  Today (do not know the year described) there are seven Units with a total of 109 members.  The Units are Cerro Gordo, Cisco, Deland, Monticello Evening, River Bottoms, Willow Branch and Voorhies.  There also had been a Unit at Springtown.

Miss Mary Duckworth served as the first Home Advisor from 1930-1932, and was succeeded by Miss Christie Helper from 1933-1935 and Miss Lucille Gring from 1936-1941, who married in 1937 and became Mrs. Clifford Swenson.  Other Home Advisors have been Miss Bernice Smith and Miss Lorennie Berry, and Assistant Home Advisor, Mrs. Helen W. Simer.

The original Home Bureau underwent several name changes over the years, eventually becoming Piatt County Association for Home and Community Education in the late 1990’s.   It is a member of the Illinois Association of Home and Community Education (IAHCE), and is associated with other organizations of similar purpose around the world, internationally known as “The Associated Country Women of the World.”

2017 Updated History:  Today, AHCE is an organization of homemakers interested in continuing education for the purpose of strengthening and improving the quality of home and community life for better living.  We have monthly lessons on a variety of topics including family and youth issues, nutrition, food handling and preparation, the functional and aesthetic environment of the home, gardening and landscaping, cultural enrichment, leisure time activities, international affairs, and citizenship at all levels.  These Lessons for Living are selected by the Board and presented by Extension Educators or by members.

By bringing Lessons for Living to our communities we perform an invaluable service.   We also provide support services to the Piatt County Red Cross Bloodmobile in the form of food, beverages, and monitoring, and participate in the international project, “Pennies for Friendship”, which supports clean water projects throughout the world.

In the past we have supported the 4-H Clubs and the Bi-County Health Department, as well as many other community projects in Monticello and Piatt County.  The Units also support cultural and civic activities in their communities. 

Our Board includes representatives of each Unit and a full slate of officers, and meets the afternoon of the fourth Wednesday of the month to conduct the business of the organization.

In 2011 Piatt, Macon, and DeWitt counties formed a Tri-County Board which meets three times a year at alternating locations, This has proven to be an effective means of communication and mutual support for county programs.

Piatt County AHCE has many dedicated long-term members.  Here are a few of the outstanding members with their years of membership:

·         Twilia Mackey (78)

·         Martha Ann Rhoades (65)

·         Norma Sievers(65)

·         Alice Briggs (62)

·         Audra Gowler (62)

·         Yvonne Howland (60)

·         Marilyn Olson (59)

·         Carolyn Kleven (58)

·         Peggy Nolan (57)

·         Miriam Seevers (54)

·         Judy Greene (50)

·         Jane McCraw (50)

2018 Updated History:  In the past 3 years, 2016-2018,Piatt County AHCE has partnered with Faith In Action by providing food for their fundraisers, thus giving us a source of income.   These events have taken place in the Cisco Center and have been fun for all attendees.  Twilia Mackey’s mincemeat pies have brought in the most money at the auctions.  Congratulations, Twilia!

Beginning in 2017, the Board increased by adding co-officers to provide flexibility and coverage for each position.  New in 2018 is our participation in the Sangamon River Share Shops held in White Heath; the Farmer’s Market held one Thursday per month from June through September; an Evening ”Learn More About HCE” offered in September, October, and November; connection with 4-H by teaching heritage skills/sewing skills on a holiday from school, October 8; and our effort to feature HCE week on October 8-14.  In 2018 we also started offering lessons outside the Extension Office by doing one on ”Legal Documents”  by a lawyer, Jim Ayers, held at Tatman Village.

History created by Libby Glasgow.

Data updated October 2017 by Vivian Faulkner-King.

Data updated October 2018 by Carol Drayton and Louise Brewer.

Board Members:


·         PRESIDENT:  Carol Drayton  217-520-4676      Email:  cjrdrayton@comcast.net

·         2ND VICE-PRESIDENT:  Judy Greene  217-778-7398      Email:  juliann1776@yahoo.com

·         CO 2ND VICE-PRESIDENT:  Louise Brewer  217-762-2977

·         SECRETARY:  Miriam Seevers  217-855-1367       Email:  stanstools@gmail.com

·         TREASURER:  Carolyn Wolter  217-621-5636       Email:  carolyn_wolter@yahoo.com


·         COMUNITY OUTREACH & FAMILY ISSUES:  Becky Wildman  217-762-9262

·         CULTURAL ENRICHMENT:  Norma Reck  217-763-5241 

·         CO CULTURAL ENRICHMENT:  Martha Lynch  217-763-8561

·         INTERNATIONAL:  Virginia Norfleet  217-620-8365

·         CO INTERNATIONAL:  Frances Kurr  217-678-5001

·         NEWSLETTER/PUBLIC RELATIONS:  Kathleen Glenn  217-502-3235     Email:  glennk27@yahoo.com

(All Piatt County HCE Board Meetings are held on the 4th Wednesday of the month at the Piatt County Extension Office located at 210 S. Market Street in Monticello. )

Units Information:

(Check Piatt County HCE Newsletter for Current Changes)

 Cerro Gordo:  Carolyn Wolter217-621-5636

·         Location:   Hope Welty Library 

·         Time:  2nd Thursday of the month  1:00 pm

 Cisco:  Carol Drayton 217-520-4676

·         Location:  changes each month

·         Time:  3rd Wednesday of the month  (date and time changes as needed)

 Monticello:  Becky Wildman 217-762-9262

·         Location:  changes each month

·         Time:  date and time changes each month

 Voorhies:  Frances Kurr 217-678-5001

·         Location:  “Makin’ Pizza” in Bement

·         2nd Monday of the month  1:30 pm

2019 Lessons Listing:

·         January:  pkg.  lesson = “Saving Money by Comparing TV vs Streaming Options”

·         February:  pkg.  lesson = “March Madness Recipes (dips and healthy snacks)”

·         March:  recorded lesson training = “New Ways to Cut Electricity Bills”  (Thursday, March 7, 2019, from 2-3 pm at the Piatt County Extension Office)

·         April:  live educator (Candace) = “Hanging Gardens”  (Wednesday, April 3, 2019, starting at 9:30 am and held at the Piatt County Extension Office)

·         May:  webinar lesson training = “Saving Money on Food Costs”  (Thursday, April 18, 2019, from 2-3 pm at the Piatt County Extension Office)

·         June:  live educator (Melody Arnold) = “Backyard Bird Watching”  (Tuesday, June 4, 2019, starting at 9:30 am and held at the Holly Brook Senior Living Center)

·         September:  International Day Celebration = “Around the World:  India”  (Wednesday, September 18,2019, starting at 11:00 am and held at the Macon County Extension Office)

·         October:  webinar lesson training = “What’s New in the Kitchen?”  (Thursday, September 19, 2019, from 2-3 pm at the Piatt County Extension Office)

·         November:  pkg. lesson = “ Easy Meals/ Freezer Meals”

·         December: unit's choice

2019 Calendar of Events:

  Jan 23 9 am Cultural Enrichment; 1 pm Piatt County HCE Board Meeting
  Feb 27 9 am Cultural Enrichment; 1 pm Piatt County HCE Board Meeting
  Mar 7 2-3 pm recorded lesson on New Ways to Cut Electrical Bills at Piatt Co Ext Ofc
  Mar 12-14 State Conference in Effingham "Celebrating Around the World"
  Mar 27 9 am Cultural Enrichment; 1 pm Piatt County HCE Board Meeting
  Apr 3 9:30 am Live Educator (candace); Hanging Gardens at Piatt Co Ext Ofc
  Apr 18 2-3 pm Webinar lesson on Saving Money on Food Costs at Piatt Co Ext Ofc
  Apr 24 9 am Cultural Enrichment; 1 pm Piatt County HCE Board Meeting
  May 22 9 am Cultural Enrichment; 1 pm Piatt County HCE Board Meeting
  June 3 9:30 am Tri County Board Meeting at Cisco UMC
  June 4 9:30 am at Holly Brook - Melody Arnold, Speaker on Backyard Birds
  June 26 9 am Cultural Enrichment; 1 pm Piatt County HCE Board Meeting
  Aug 7 District 5 Workshop in Springfield
  Sept 18 11 am International Day @ Macon Co Ext Ofc - India
  Sept 19 2-3 pm Webinar Lesson on What's New in the Kitchen
  Sept 25 9 am Cultural Enrichment; 1 pm Piatt County HCE Board Meeting
  Oct 7 9:30 am Tri County Board Meeting at Dewitt Extension Office
  Oct 11-14 Homemaker's Camp at Allerton (register by Sept 15)
  Oct 23 9 am Cultural Enrichment; 1 pm Piatt County HCE Board Meeting
  Nov 27 9 am Cultural Enrichment; 1 pm Piatt County HCE Board Meeting

PCHCE Newsletters:

  2019 April

Newspaper Article Scrapbook for 2019:

Jan 23 "HCE Hosts Brad Thomas" Guest speaker, Brad Thomas, the owner of Thomas Farm tells about his fully functioning year-round Koi Pond.

PCHCE Brochure:

  Coming Soon  

Things to Remember:

1.      The Aim of the Homemaker

     To have the home. . .

·         Economically sound

·         Mechanically convenient

·         Morally wholesome

·         Mentally stimulating

·         Artistically satisfying

·         Physically healthful

·         Socially responsible

·         Spiritually inspiring

·         Founded upon mutual affection and respect.

             Juliet Lita Bane, Home Economist, 1919


2.        Volunteers

       It’s certainly not for the money, it’s not for fame.

       It’s not for only personal gain.

       It’s just for the love of a fellow man.

       It’s just to lend a helping hand.

       It’s just to give a little of one’s self.

       That’s something you can’t buy with wealth.

       It’s not for medals worn with pride.

       It’s not for the feeling deep within.

       It’s that reward deep in your heart.

       It’s the feeling that you’ve been a part

       Of helping others far and near.

       That makes you a volunteer.



3.        Collect

       Keep us, O God, from pettiness.

       Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.

       Let us be done with fault-finding and leave off self-seeking.

       May we put away all pretense and meet each other face to face,

                 without self-pity and without prejudice.

       May we never be hasty in judgment and always generous.

       Teach us to put into action our better impulses,

                 straight forward and unafraid.

       Let us take time for all things, make us grow calm, serene, and gentle.

       Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences,

                That in the big things of life we are at one.

       And may we strive to touch and know the great common human

                Heart of us all, O God.

       And let us not forget to be kind.