PRIMETIME: Homemaker

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, September 23, 2008

KITTS HILL — It’s a long way from the bustle of Queens, N.Y., to rural Lawrence County. But it’s been a journey that Leni Roche has made with grace and ease.

The transplanted New Yorker went through the 4-H program with all of her seven children. Then she decided to stay with the programs offered by the county extension agent and join one of the area Homemaker Clubs.

Today, she counts 25 years as a devoted member of the Kitts Hill Club.

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“I was involved with 4-H with all my kids,” she said. “It was a lot of fun with the kids. When they got out, I was ready to go with the old ladies instead of the young kids.”

Homemakers Clubs across Lawrence County are part of the Ohio Homemakers and Community Education. That is made up of volunteers, many of whom have reached their “prime time,” to work together with the Ohio State University Extension “to strengthen individuals, families and communities, through education, leadership development and social interaction,” the mission statement says.

The Ohio Homemakers program started back in 1930. Ten years later Lawrence County’s Homemakers met for the first time, calling themselves “The Home Demonstration Club.”

Usually Homemakers meet once a month and can hear lectures on such topics as health, housekeeping, cooking, canning and gardening.

All Homemakers follow a special creed: “As Homemakers in an ever-changing society, we will strive to preserve those ideals and values that strengthen our families, improve our communities and achieve harmony with those around us.”

What Roche gets out of Homemakers is three fold, she says.

“Learning is our primary purpose, all kinds,” she said. “We get involved in community service. Most ladies are involved in different groups in their community. And the