SKOWHEGAN — Sue Ellen Lexier and Peggy Hamilton, both former members of the North Cornville Ladies Aid Society, recently visited Skowhegan Early HeadStart on Academy Drive. They presented the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program with a generous financial donation in support of early childhood education in Somerset County, according to a KVCAP release.

The society began in Cornville in 1911. Women in this rural area came together to socialize, sew, pray, and discuss the latest news. The society was incorporated in 1946, and grew to become a community-based organization. Members raised money through turkey pie suppers, strawberry festivals, quilt raffles, pie sales and other projects, according to the release. In turn, they helped school children get winter boots or coats, visited elderly shut-ins with holiday gifts, and stepped in to help when a family faced a financial crisis.

“There was lots of laughter, sharing and support given to each other as well as the community members,” said Lexier, according to the release. “But membership had diminished in recent years, and we decided to close our local chapter of the Ladies Aid Society.”

Since closing, they have donated the remaining chapter funds to several other organizations as well as KVCAP, including the Skowhegan Area High School for the Cornville student scholarship and the Veterans’ Basket program.

The Skowhegan Early HeadStart program is part of the larger Greater Skowhegan Early Childhood Collaborative, a diverse set of partners who are working together to increase access to high-quality early education and care for young children, so they are prepared to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

“The research is clear. High-quality early education and care improves students’ success in school, preparing them for college and the work force,” said Nicole Chaplin, who oversees KVCAP’s early childhood programs in the greater Skowhegan area, according to the release.

“We are pleased to support this vital opportunity for young children and their families,” said Lexier, according to the release. “These donations are a way for the community spirit of The North Cornville Ladies Aid Society to live on through our donations.”