At 99, Helen Loves Volunteering At Red Geranium Market

By: Betsy Reason

Photo provided by Jennie Auble of Red Geranium Artisan Market
Helen LeCount, 99, Noblesville, volunteers every year at the bake sale at the Presbyterian Church of Noblesville’s eighth annual Red Geranium Artisan Market, which is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the church on Conner Street in Noblesville.
Photo provided by Jennie Auble of Red Geranium Artisan Market
Presbyterian Church of Noblesville’s eighth annual Red Geranium Artisan Market is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the church on Conner Street in Noblesville.

Helen LeCount doesn’t mind sharing her age with anybody who asks.

The 70-year member of the First Presbyterian Church in Noblesville — who can be found this Saturday volunteering at the church’s eighth annual Red Geranium Artisan Market — is 99 years old.

She loves to play Euchre, take walks and do good with the ladies of her church.

LeCount especially likes to volunteer each year at the Presbyterian Women Bake Sale during the church’s Red Geranium Market.

She likes working the cash box.

“I count money,” she said.

When she makes change, she counts the money aloud to her customers. “You know you’re getting the right change, and I know I’m giving it to you,” she said.

Being at the bake sale, LeCount said, “I enjoy seeing my friends, enjoy taking their money, and I enjoy counting it and seeing how much we make. I enjoy being with my friends and seeing a lot of my friends I haven’t seen for a while … and talking with them. I love them. I love my church.” (Her friend Gigi Nash, 93, has been alongside her for years, I’m told.)

Saturday’s market is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features more than 50 juried artisan booths, a stage with live entertainment, food and, of course, the bake sale. All proceeds fund church mission projects.

LeCount has been involved in the Noblesville church since 1953 and has volunteered at the church rummage sales and bake sales for the past 55 years, since 1968.

“I was in charge of the rummage sales for years, and I started the bake sales,” she said.

LeCount baked chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies, brownies, and apple and cherry pies for many, many bake sales.  “I baked a lot,” she said, although LeCount “wasn’t much for baking cakes.”

She baked for many years. “At first, I did every year, then in later years, I hadn’t,” she said. “I just donate money.”

For some events, she made banana bread but doesn’t do much cooking any more. “When you’re 99 years old, you’re not supposed to. But I do keep busy. Tomorrow, my friends are picking me up at 11 a.m., and going to play Euchre and play Hand and Foot.”

She no longer drives but relies on friends and family. “I drove until age 92 or 93,” said LeCount.

Her typical day? “Getting up around 7 a.m.,” she said. “Sometimes if I get to bed late, I sleep until 9, maybe 10. … but I don’t like to do that. I like to get up and maybe take a nap later. I get up and fix my coffee, then I come back, get dressed before I go out of the room, and I always take my showers at night. And I make my bed every day.”

She’s made a lot of friends in the church and the community. “We used to have dinners and sometimes we still do.”

LeCount, who was born Helen Clare Howe on May 25, 1924, in Winona Lake, Ind., near Warsaw, had three brothers and one sister, and is the only one still living. “My mother lived to be 97. I even beat her,” LeCount said. “God has a lot to do with my life, and he’s taken care of me. That’s about all I can say because I don’t eat right, I don’t exercise, although I used to. But I do walk some.”

She lives with her son and his family who have a driveway that she walks. “Sometimes I take a book with me, and I stop and maybe read a few pages. I sit down on my walker and rest a little bit and read a little bit.”

She married her husband, Corlyss “Cory” LcCount (who was in the military for two years) on Nov. 15, 1945, in Fort Wayne. “How I got here, my husband was a coach, and he came here as the b-team basketball coach and moved up to varsity and was varsity for several years. He was then vice principal and principal,” she said. She quit college and worked and then stayed home to raise a family. Later, she worked at JCPenney as a cashier in the office and then worked for 20 years with special needs kids at Noblesville Schools. They lived in the 1400 block of Clinton Street, then on James Drive and then on 17th Street between Harrison and Monument streets. Her husband died March 24, 1995, at age 73. She has four sons, 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren (ages 12 and younger).

Artisan Market bake sale organizer Ann Green said of LeCount’s volunteering at the cash box and being a stickler for accuracy:“Never a mistake counting, and you better be sure the bills are facing the right direction and put with the same denomination,” said Green, who refers to LeCount as “A kind, wonderful Christian.”

Money raised at the 2022 Red Geranium Artisan Market goes to Franklin Graham’s Operation Christmas Guild. Green said, “Helen’s work certainly has helped create funds to help many needs over the years.”

-Betsy Reason writes about people, places and things in Hamilton County. Contact The Times Editor Betsy Reason at



Want TO GO?

What: Eighth annual Red Geranium Artisan Market.

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Where: First Presbyterian Church of Noblesville, 1207 Conner St., Noblesville.

How much: Admission free.

Good to know: More than 50 different juried vendors.

Live entertainment: Holly Jones, 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.; Julia Keller-Welter, viola, 10:30 a.m.-noon; Rhythm and Cues Cloggers, 12:15 p.m.-1 p.m.; Emily Ann and Kelly Thompson, Celtic and American oldtime, folk, bluegrass, country, 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Food: Smokey Blue Texas-style BBQ food truck, Stacco House by Mammamia Gelato, Presbyterian Women Bake Sale.

Missions: Feeding Team Food Pantry (onsite), The Cooper House, Good Samaritan of Hamilton County, Third Phase, Camp Pyoca, Serve Noblesville and Christmas in Action; Henderson Settlement, Last Bell Ministries, Dorcas Basket, Jonathan Long and Zach Hanje.

What ELSE?

-Presbyterian Women has many fundraisers throughout the year. The group donated $12,000 to various communities, as well as national charitable organizations in 2022, and also sponsored a Giving Tree which provided Christmas gifts and food to four local families, and at Easter gave gift cards to the same families “in hopes of making their Easter a bit brighter,” Sandi Blackburn, Presbyterian Women’s moderator, said.

-Three of the members of the First Presbyterian Church dance with Rhythm & Cues Cloggers, which will perform during the Red Geranium Artisan Market. The Cloggers are a recreational group of 16 dancers who enjoy clogging and introducing others to clogging.

– “A very special booth” at the market is Padelka, which means handcrafted in Ukrainian. First Presbyterian will be selling hand painted Pysanky eggs and other items made by Ukrainian artisan Marina Shepeluk, who is an orphan graduate of Last Bell Ministries, an organization that cares for the region’s orphanage graduates. All sales from this booth will go directly to Marina to help support her and her family who are living in Zhytomyr and dealing with the challenges of the war