This week, we are looking back at the Imo Neighbors Oklahoma Home and Community Education (OHCE) Group and what an asset they have been to their community. On Jan. 31, 1947, a group of ladies of the community met to form a farm women’s club. The ladies selected the name “Imo Neighbors” as their official name. Charter members were Mrs. L. F. Pratt, Mrs. Steve Perry, Mrs. Cecil Oringderff, Miss Esther Baade, Mrs. V. L. Hudnall, Mrs. J. A. Baade, Mrs. Nelson Boatright, Mrs. Melvin Dwyer, Mrs. Walter Hodgen, Mrs. Curtis Horral, Mrs. Dick Thompson, Mrs. Strome, Miss Vera Strome and Mrs. Paul Rathjen.
The first meetings were held at the Turkey Creek School. The Turkey Creek School House was built by local contributions before statehood. Short-term school was held in early days, and later on, school was held on a regular term basis. In 1946, the school was consolidated into the Drummond School District. This left the building a community responsibility. When the Imo Neighbors began using the school house for their meetings, they also took over the responsibility of the upkeep and insurance of the building as a neighborhood project. In 1962, The Turkey Creek School was moved to a location on Imo Road just south of the elevator. The work was all donated by neighbors. The land was donated by Mr. and Mrs. L. F. Pratt. The school house has since been moved to become part of the Humphrey Heritage Village at the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center near Government Springs Park.
Over the years, Imo Neighbors Group has helped and supported the YWCA, Our Daily Bread, Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, Leonardo’s, and the local 4-H Club, to name a few. Today, there are 16 members. One of the members’ main projects is making pillow cases for the children at the YWCA. When the children arrive with their family to the center, they often don’t have many personal items with them. The pillow cases are something they can have that is theirs to keep and are always made of bright and fun colors. The youth really enjoy being able to pick out a pillow case. The group has also made fleece hats to give to children in need at Christmas. The group also helps elderly neighbors in their community in times of need.
Although they are few, they are strong. Imo Neighbors Group has been helping the Imo/Drummond area for 67 years and is still going strong. If you would like more information about joining an OHCE Group, contact the Garfield County Extension office at 316 E. Oxford; Enid, OK or (580) 237-1228.
Nickels, MS, RD/LD, is Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Family and Consumer Sciences educator for Garfield County.