In 1984 a new activity group was formed at the Omaha Works and was named the Hooks and Needles. It has been estimated that in 1984 the H&N Group had around 200 members. In the early 90’s the H&N became a project of the AT&T Pioneers Cornhusker Chapter 92 with the Pioneers funding the H&N. It was at this time Elaine Hobbs was voted in as President and Chair of the group. There were still over 150 members in the group in 2000 when Avaya no longer supported the Pioneers. The group didn’t end at that point and found a meeting place outside of the plant and Pioneers continued their support.

Under Elaine’s leadership the group was honored by the Pioneer’s Region for their volunteer efforts making and donating lap robes, hats, mittens and scarves, quilts and baby blankets. It was noted that the group registered between 65,000 and 75,000 volunteer hours each year. The H&N received the Pioneer Region “Group Award for Project Excellence” and it was presented to Elaine Hobbs for the Hooks and Needles Project.

That brings us to today October 2022 some 30 plus years since Elaine took over the Hooks and Needles Project. Elaine has decided that it is time for her to retire. There is still a small group that wants to continue knitting and Elaine knows the someone will step forward to lead the group. On October 5, 2022 the group held a retirement supper for Elaine at the Village Inn in Council Bluffs, IA and expressed their thanks for her being the leader of the Hooks and Needles Group for over 30 years. Jerry Golmanavich past president of the Pioneers was MC of the event.

All of the past officers and the current officers of the Heartland Pioneers wish to thank Elaine for her dedication and volunteerism in the metro community.

Submitted by Jerry and Betty Golmanavich