by Mary Parker Draper, Extension Agent – Smith County

“Best of the Best” describes Gordonsville Family and Community Education (FCE) member, Phyllis McKinney! Each Spring Smith County FCE holds their annual Rally where all nine clubs and mailbox members get together to celebrate all the wonderful accomplishments they have made throughout the year. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19, FCE has not been able to have a Rally as planned. However, we are still thrilled to honor Phyllis McKinney as Smith County’s 2020 “Best of the Best” recipient.

Phyllis is a very deserving individual. She is currently Vice President of her club. In years past she has held the office of President of her club and also President of the Smith County FCE’s County Council. Phyllis is a natural leader. She works along with members to make the best decision for all concerned. She brings out the best in others by giving credit to ideas, showing appreciation to others, and exploring critical concepts with them.

I have known Phyllis for the past five years. In that time, I have been amazed by her willingness to help not only in FCE programs but also in her community. Just a few weeks ago I saw where Phyllis delivered fruit to a neighbor “just because.” A few days ago, Phyllis graciously donated back to school supplies for a 4-H and FCE service project. Phyllis makes goodies for FCE’s Chocolate Extravaganza fundraiser each Valentine’s Day, which happens to be Phyllis and her husband’s anniversary!

Phyllis is a great example of our club’s mission statement, “Strengthening individuals, families and communities through continuing education, developing leadership, and community action.” We invite everyone to join one of the nine FCE clubs around the county or become a mailbox member. The University of Tennessee Extension offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability or veteran status and is an equal opportunity employer. For more information contact Mary Parker Draper at the Extension Office at (615)735-2900.

Phyllis McKinney holds Best of the Best certificate

Pasta Fruit Salad

3 ounces fusilli or rotini pasta uncooked

1 (8-ounce) can unsweetened pineapple chunks, undrained

1 cup cantaloupe chunks

1 cup seedless green grapes, halved

1 (8-ounce) carton peach low-fat yogurt

1 cup strawberry halves

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; rinse with cold water, and drain again. Drain pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons juice. Combine pasta, pineapple chunks, cantaloupe, and grapes in a medium bowl. Cover and chill. Combine yogurt and reserved 2 tablespoons pineapple juice in a small bowl, stirring well. Cover yogurt mixture, and chill. Add

strawberry halves just before serving; toss gently. Drizzle yogurt mixture over pasta salad, toss gently, and service immediately. Refrigerate leftover portion. Is best used within 24 hours.

Makes 8 servings. Submitted by Phyllis McKinney, Gordonsville FCE Club.