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Marshall County Attends TAFCE Conference

Posted on Monday, December 4, 2023 at 2:34 pm

Marshall County FCE members attended the 41th Annual Tennessee Association for Family and Community Education (TAFCE) Conference held November 12-15, 2023, at the Meadowview Conference Center in Kingsport, Tenn. Eastern Region’s theme “Spread Your Wings with FCE” was played to the hilt with decorations, hospitality room spreads, games, tours and butterflies everywhere.

FCE members are recognized state wide for the certified volunteer hours they donate, their participation in the cultural arts contest, fashion revue, and creative writing. CVU recipients from Marshall were: Eileen Abbey, Linda Burkhart, Anna Childress, Deborah Foster, Emily Gordon, Pat Holt, Denna Mussaw, Linda Mussaw, Linda Prince, and Linda Wright.

The conference was declared officially open at the general session Monday evening, November 13, by the TAFCE President, Gloria Fisher, Cumberland County. Other greetings were given by Cynthia Mishtal, Eastern Region President, and Emily Gordon, representing National FCE. Dr. Janet Fox brought greetings from UT.

The Tennessee Association for Family and Community Education (TAFCE) chose Shades of Grace in Kingsport as their service project for this conference. Pastor Will Shewey was present at the general session on Tuesday to elaborate on their mission, and to accept the tangible items and monetary donation given to support their ministry with local residents that are in need of a helping hand.

At the general session on Tuesday, local author, Brenda Prater Sellers, shared how her book You Slept Where? came to be using her experience with her older, dementia affected mother and her husband who suffers with PTSD. Using humor to cope, she presented a very entertaining book review. Banquet attendees were captivated by The Appalachian Express Chorus, an acappella group of 44 men that sing and entertain for the fun of it. Wonderful program.

Conference attendees were offered options for educational tours, walk-in craft classes, creative craft classes, and education sessions. Topics of workshops included Eyes Up, Forks Down, Music Magic, Mediterranean Style Eating, Basket Weaving, and Chair Yoga. The opening session and the Banquet were opportunities for FCE members to receive awards in cultural arts (such as beading, chair making, needlecrafts, quilting, etc.), fashion review, and creative writing. Winners from Marshall County were: Donna Elliott 2nd in Ceramics, Pat Holt 2nd in Specialty Quilts, and Linda Prince 2nd in non-beaded jewelry. Fourth grader, Sidney Arnold won first place in the Character Counts Essay and Art Contest. In attendance at the banquet, Sidney read her essay as her drawing was featured onscreen. Accompanying Sidney were her parents Robyn and Chad Arnold.

Family and Community Education (FCE) is an organization of volunteers who work together to build strong families and communities. Educational materials are created and utilized to strengthen knowledge and skills. Resources are provided to develop leadership skills, enabling people to make a difference. Ultimately, FCE strives to make our communities a better place in which to live. To learn more about FCE club work in Marshall County, contact Terri Orr at our local University of Tennessee Extension Office.