November 16, 2005 | By: Laura Skillman

Every year the Homemakers in Lyon County hold an auction during their annual meeting with the proceeds often going to a worthy cause. This year, the Homemakers could think of no cause more worthy than the families of soldiers stationed at the nearby Fort Campbell Army base. Many of these soldiers are currently serving in Iraq.

Lyon County is only about an hour’s drive from the military installation, and many in the community feel a strong connection, said Laura Wilson, Lyon County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences.

“There are a 115 Homemaker members in six clubs and at-large members,” she said. “They are a very caring group, and they wanted to do something for our military community. One member’s husband, Tom McManamay, is retired military and he was able to make the arrangements to have someone come and talk to us about what can be done for the families.”

The Homemakers feel empathy for the family members that are left here when their spouses are deployed, Wilson said.

“We feel really excited about being able to do something for them and to let them know we do appreciate the sacrifices they are making for our country,” she said.

The money will go to Operation Helping Hand, a chaplain’s program, set up for the holidays to purchase food vouchers for lower enlisted family members who may need assistance purchasing food, said Kimberly Carroll, a Family Readiness Group assistant for 1st Brigade.

Carroll, whose husband is serving in Iraq, said she has had several groups request information on Family Readiness Group, especially since the recent deployment of troops from the base. In addition, many groups are supportive financially of their efforts

Carroll is one of only a handful of paid staff, where she works to help train the group volunteers. Volunteers are military family members who serve as a welcoming committee and provide information and moral support. 

“The goal is to encourage self-reliance while letting them know we are there if they do need us,” she said. 

Carroll said part of her role is a liaison between the soldier’s unit and Family Readiness Group leaders. She is also involved in Care Teams, a group of two to three people who go in immediately after a family has been notified of a soldier’s death. They are there to show support and aid them in such things as child care, preparing meals, lawn care – things church groups might help with until extended family members can get there, she said.

After Carroll’s presentation, the bidding began on items, all of which were also donated by the Homemakers and included everything from homemade fudge to Christmas décor. The group raised $830 from the auction but contributed well above that when the cost of the donated items is included.

“It means so much to the families at Fort Campbell and all the military for you showing support,” Carroll said.


Writer: Laura Skillman 270-365-7541 ext. 278

Contact: Laura Wilson, 270-388-2341