ORLEANS COUNTY- After more than 50 years, an organization of women’s groups, who worked to better themselves as well as their communities, is now coming to an end.
The Orleans County Extension Homemakers, which provided support to various groups throughout Orleans County, is officially no longer in existence.
The Derby Homemakers also disbanded. The Extension held its final annual meeting Tuesday evening in Derby Line where they enjoyed a meal and were entertained by local attorney and violinist Gertrude Miller.
The group will continue to meet for social events occasionally such as dinners and trips, but will no longer be participating in programming.
The group had a remaining budget of just over $2,000, money saved from its annual craft fair.
The group decided to give the money to support IROC, Vermont victims of Hurricane Irene through the Red Cross, the NEKCA food shelf, North Country Hospital, and Frontier Animal Society.
Carolyn Lamoureaux, the Extension President said that she is saddened over the ending of the group where life-long friendship were made, women learned about important issues including health, and raised money to support causes.
Lamoureaux remembers attending a national meeting with more than 5,000 women. The last meeting she attended a few ago only brought 300 women. Now membership’s numbers have dwindled to under 100, she said.
She said that things are changing. The economy and peoples’ priorities and interest have evolved and most have little to no extra time or interest in such groups.
She said the women in the group now are growing older as well. The group is not attracting new and younger members to keep things going.
The groups worked on programs such as “Character counts,” where “pillars” such as responsibility and friendship were taught. The concept was utilized in local schools.
“It was a great group. I’m really saddened to see it end. Such a great organization. Fantastic women,” Lamoureaux said in an interview. “But I guess all good things come to an end.”