A near capacity crowd enjoyed good food, great entertainment, door prizes, some unique recipes and lots of fun during the 31st edition of The Times-Gazette’s Homemaker’s Show, held Thursday night at the Southern State Community College Patriot Center in Hillsboro.
Vendors offered unique and useful products to those in attendance, who also enjoyed food samples, two recipe presentations of homemade apple cobbler and bread pudding, and entertainment from hometown favorite Herb Day and a surprise duet with Southern State President Dr. Kevin Boys, who accompanied Day on his mandolin.
Audrey Rose of Hillsboro, who retired from Dairy Queen after 23 years, called the evening a “wonderful night and something really nice for Highland County and the surrounding areas,” adding “I just love to cook and bake, and since I’m retired I’ve got more time to do it.”
Barb Turpin, whose husband Ron was known informally as the mayor of Hoagland, came for the entertainment and especially to hear Herb Day sing “Sweet Caroline,” which he opened with.
Sharon Hughes, media director for The Times-Gazette, said she thought the evening “was awesome.”
“The whole evening was just so much fun,” she said. “People were clapping their hands to the music and enjoying an evening out, and there were many prizes that the folks could take home, and I think the highlight of the evening was when Herb and Dr. Boys did a duet to ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,’ that was really touching.”
She said plans for the 32nd edition are currently underway for what she called a “bigger and better show,” and one of the changes she’s considering for the cooking segment might be the addition of a “mother-child” or “grandparent-grandchild” presentation.
“I had a little boy come up to me and say he had been coming with his grandmother,” Hughes said. “And he told me he’d like to make something on stage next year, so if there is anybody out there who might like to do a parent/child or grandparent/grandchild presentation, they should contact me here at the paper.”
Another possibility for the 2020 edition might be a “style or fashion show,” she said, and she encouraged women of all ages who might be aspiring models to either call or email her.
Definitely returning to next year’s schedule will be both the perennial local favorite Day in addition to Boys, who she said wowed the crowd with both his surprise duet with Day and his presentation of homemade bread pudding, which will appear in Hughes’ In the Kitchen with Sharon column in next Saturday’s edition of The Times-Gazette.
“Dr. Boys is so gracious about us using their facility for a special event like this,” she said. “It is such an honor to have Southern State College as a part of our community, and with a president who is committed to our community like Dr. Boys, it only serves to make Highland County and the surrounding area even better.”
Hughes also wanted to thank the major sponsors of the Homemaker’s Show: Merchant’s National Bank, Lowe’s, Adena Health, Kroger, The Laurel’s, Amatha Ferrens State Farm Insurance, Croswell Tours, Walmart, Highland District Hospital and in particular Southern State Community College.
“This was our 31st show and Kroger, our only local bank Merchant’s National Bank and Highland District Hospital have been a part of this from the beginning,” she said. “Kroger and Walmart just roll out the red carpet for us, and we’re so lucky to have Highland District Hospital and their expansion program that’s going on — we just can’t say enough about our sponsors.”
Benefitting from the generosity of those in attendance was the Highland County Homeless Shelter, which has been selected for several years to receive donations of non-perishable food items by the show guests in exchange for door prize tickets, and Hughes said the shelter received enough canned and boxed food donations “to fill up the bed of a pickup truck.”
She said the very first Homemaker’s Show was held in March 1987 at the Hillsboro Church of Christ and quickly outgrew that facility, later moving to Southern State’s auditorium before spending the last five years at the Patriot Center.
The reason why it isn’t referred to as an “annual” event, she said, was because it had to be cancelled in 2008 due to inclement weather, so the following year it was scheduled for April to avoid any chance of heavy snowfall.
“This year would have technically been our 32nd year,” Hughes said.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.