Chicken Dinner News
Focused on learning

By Clarissa Kell-Holland
staff writer


It’s the day before the fall board meeting is scheduled to begin, and members of the OOIDA Board of Directors and their spouses are starting to arrive. Besides their briefcases and binders, many members of the scholarship committee are laden down with boxes filled with the fruits of their labor for the annual craft fair at OOIDA headquarters in Grain Valley, MO.

For months, many of the committee members have been working on projects aimed at generating more revenue for the OOIDA-Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund, which helps send young people of OOIDA members on to college or trade school.

Rita Wilkins, wife of OOIDA board member, Leo Wilkins, of Saint Charles, MI, brought embroidered Christmas stockings, aprons and crocheted items to sell.

“This is a way I can contribute and do my share for such a good cause,” Wilkins said. “I look forward to seeing what others have made because everybody is so talented here.”

This is Jocelyn McComb’s first craft fair as she is new to the scholarship committee. Her husband, Jack McComb of Littleton, CO, was elected as an alternate to the board at OOIDA’s spring meeting. She made several food items to sell, including homemade Concord grape juice, peanut brittle and some pine nut cookies.

“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been a lot of fun, too,” McComb said.

Paula Chambers is one of the original members of the scholarship committee, which was formed nearly 12 years ago.

She also coordinates all of the details surrounding the craft fair. This year, Paula, who is the wife of OOIDA’s General Vice President Woody Chambers of Eddyville, KY, brought handmade knitted scarves, microwavable baked potato bags and other baked goods to sell.

“Sure, it’s a lot of work, but it’s for such a worthwhile cause that we all believe in,” she said.

Margo Elrod of Peru, IN, made some fall table arrangements to sell at this year’s craft fair. She also brought some live “Rose of Sharon” plants and peacock feathers. Her husband, Mark, who sits on OOIDA’s board, is also on the scholarship committee.

Scholarship Committee Chairman Bill Rode of Eagle, ID, brought his famous beef jerky that his wife, Mary, vacuum-sealed for him to sell at this year’s craft fair, as well as some rustic custom-made wooden picture frames

Martha Taylor, wife of board member John Taylor of Cross Junction, VA, supplied a fall wreath that was auctioned off at the conclusion of this year’s fair.

“This is extremely rewarding for all of us who are on the committee,” she said. “It’s a good feeling to know that we have played a small part in helping these young people achieve their dreams.” LL