Wayne County 4-H honors youth, volunteers at event

Wayne County 4-H honors youth, volunteers at event

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More than 350 4-H youth, family members and volunteers gathered at the Wayne County Fair Event Center on Tuesday, Nov. 9 for the 19th annual Wayne County 4-H Recognition Banquet.

Elaine Koch was the recipient of the Wayne County 4-H Meritorious Service Award, the highest 4-H award given at the county level to a current 4-H volunteer or friend of the 4-H program. Morgan Johnson and Kendra Marty received the top youth award given at the county level, the Excellence in 4-H Award. Three youth that were present — Scott Armstrong, Kayleigh Molnar and Marley Snyder — received the Outstanding Junior Leaders Award for youth with 100% perfect attendance at the Junior Leaders Club meetings and potential for continued excellence in 4-H leadership.

Twenty volunteers received recognition for their various years of service in five-year increments ranging from one year to 40 years, and all volunteers with more than 40 years who were present were recognized.

The volunteers recognized included the following: Carrie Nussbaum, Erin Smith and Julia Wallace for one year of service; Marcia Brueck, Denise Heeter, Jayla Schafrath and Michaela White for five years of service; Stacey Beun and Jennifer Reynolds for 10 years of service; Jocelyn White for 15 years of service; Mindy Werstler for 30 years of service; Barry Jolliff and Cherie Smith for 35 years of service; and Kimberly Mumaw (41 years), Dave Stahl (44), Dave and Miriam Zech (44), Dave Emler (48), Sharon Emler (50), and Priscilla Sprang (52) for 40 or more years of service.

Eight 4-H clubs earned Club Star Awards for their accomplishments together as a club. The Star Club Awards are a point system in which clubs keep track of their activities and must earn a minimum number of points based on their club size. This year’s recipients of the Club Star Award are Apple Creek Wide-A-Wake, Boots & Spurs, Canaan Country Critters, Country Strong, County Line Clovers, Dalton-Kidron Big 4 and Wayne County Trailblazers.

The Wayne County 4-H Horse Drill Team was recognized as they are a new group that formed this year to create a special 9/11 tribute that took place on the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, in the Horse Arena to honor military and first responders. After the group was recognized, a short video montage was played highlighting their performance from the fair. The video is now featured on the Wayne County 4-H Ohio Facebook page. The group plans on other performances for the future.

More than 100 youth were recognized with a variety of different awards including those who earned their four-, eight- or last-year member pins; served as camp counselors and/or junior fair board members; earned County Award Medals in various project areas; or placed in the Outstanding Exhibitor and Outstanding Record Book awards programs. To view a complete list of these award and program recipients, visit https://go.osu.edu/wc21banquet to view a PDF version of the 2021 Recognition Banquet program.

Wayne County 4-H is grateful for the sponsors’ support to make this year’s banquet and awards possible. This year’s sponsors included the Wayne County Agricultural Society Senior Fair Board, OSU Extension Wayne County, the Wayne County 4-H Advisory Committee and the Wayne County Granges sponsoring the member pins.

Due to COVID-19, last year’s recognition program was virtual and consisted of a prerecorded video that premiered on Facebook and YouTube and contained a drive-thru at the fairgrounds for people to pick up their awards. So as a 4-H educator, it was definitely pretty exciting to have everyone together again in person to celebrate the many accomplishments of our youth and volunteers this year.

Doug Foxx is an OSU Extension 4-H youth development educator and may be called at 330-264-8722.