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Gingerbread geniuses
FCE Clubs create edible works of art
A gingerbread barnyard was created by members of Vinsons Crossroads. Members are, first row from left, Frances Hobbs, Naomi Smith, Lori Yates, Violet Turner, Becky Phillips and Diane Grove. Standing at back, Alda Bandy, Dee Johnson and Sue Shetley.

If Santa doesn’t have enough helpers in his workshop, he needs to contact the ladies of the six area Family and Consumer Education Clubs (FCEC). This group of ladies stays busy working to make positive changes in their communities throughout the year.
They recently held their annual Santa’s Workshop when they all try to come together to plan upcoming events. The meeting was directed by county council president Frances Hobbs, welcoming members from Bonner, Hickory Creek, Vinson’s Crossroads, Lucky-Northside and Midway.
Members provided delicious dishes for a morning brunch, followed by an auction of holiday baked goods.
They all provided toys for the Rescue Squad Toy Drive, food for the food bank and donated items for the women’s shelter. The council plans and executes benevolent projects throughout the year.
“We do this because we feel it’s important to be visible in the community and help those in need,” said Hobbs. “We enjoy meeting each month, being together and giving back to the community.”
A fun aspect of the meeting was a gingerbread house contest, with the clubs submitting an entry of their choosing. With no set rules, the ladies let their imaginations run wild, submitting a replica of the Black House, a farm scene and adorable candy-covered cottages.
Sue Shetley coordinated the submission from the Vinson’s Crossroads group, with over 300 hours going to the farm display.
“I used to decorate cakes, so I had several candy molds that worked well,” said Shetley. “Everything is made from gingerbread, including the animals, barn and house.”
She admits to being a very detail-oriented person, making pretzel fencing, barbed wire and hay bales surrounding the farm scene.
An expansive Christmas village was planned and executed by the Hickory Creek club, with 11 members working two days to make it come together.
Their village featured a store, a FCE club house, a train, a tree lot and ice skating pond, all surrounded with snow, fencing and trees with flashing lights.
“I’m very pleased with the entries that show the many talents,” said member Janis Darnaby. “The purpose of the activity was to bring the club members together, and they outdid themselves.”
The historic Black House was created beautifully by the Bonner club, garnering them  first place from the panel of judges. Countless hours of planning and work definitely showed in their entry.
Other awards were presented to Vinson’s Crossroads, second; Hickory Creek, third; and participation recognition to Midway and Lucky-Northside.