Heart of 4-H Award
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Heart of 4-H Award Winners 2008
January. Amber Nore Amber has been a 4-H volunteer for three years. She began as an independent leader for her daughter, Chloe. Two years ago, as the leader for the Everett After School program sponsored by the Everett Community Learning Center and Lincoln Parks & Recreation, Amber formed a 4-H club for the after school youth. "Everett 4-H Kids" meet every week and completes 4-H projects such as Trash to Treasure, Snack & Healthy and Theatre Arts. Amber is also the leader for the McPhee After School program and is in the process of forming a 4-H club there.
"I like being a 4-H volunteer because I get to spend time with my daughter, Chloe, and help her and her friends learn about all the fascinating things that can be done with 4-H," says Amber. "My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer was getting ready for our first county fair entries!"
In addition to volunteering for 4-H, Amber volunteers in her daughter's classroom which is part of Everett's Montessori program and is active in Everett Elementary School's PTA. She also teaches Sunday school at her church and volunteers for several women's organizations. She is an AmericaCorps member serving at the Eiseley Branch Library.
February. Eunice Cernohlavek. She has volunteered with 4-H for more than 12 years. For many years, she was leader of the Star City Llama 4-H club and superintendent for the Lancaster County Fair 4-H llama show. She continues to be an all-around helper. She also volunteers with Polk County 4-H because several llama families live in that area.
"I like being a 4-H volunteer because it gives me an opportunity to be involved with today's youth, who are our future," says Eunice. "My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer was the very first 4-H llama show at the Lancaster County Fair. My 'kids'--as I affectionately call all my 4-H'ers--did so well with their llamas and I was so proud of them and their accomplishments that I was moved to tears. Also at that function, I received my very own 4-H T-shirt--a coveted item because I always wanted to be a 4-H'er."
Eunice is also a member of the Nebraska Llama Association (she served on the board for several years) and has been superintendent of the Nebraska State Fair open class llama show for ten years. She volunteers for many llama functions throughout the year. In addition to her llama-related volunteer work, Eunice has served as secretary for the Lincoln Iris Society for about ten years.
March. Kendra Ronnau. Kendra has volunteered with 4-H for nearly 20 years, coaching horse judging and taking two Lancaster County teams to national contests. She also helped with the Riding Wranglers horse club. In 2004, she because leader of the South Prairie 4-H Club, large club with more than 30 members who work on a wide variety of projects. She helps with the Horse Judging Contest at the Lancaster County Fair.
Kendra says, "I like being a 4-H volunteer because I love the kids. It's so wonderful to see our youth learning new talents. It's especially fun to watch children learn to give of themselves. My favorite experiences was watching the kids interact with elderly at an assistant-living facility. The kids did a fantastic job bringing some joy to our amazing elderly."
She lives in Hickman with her husband Bruce and three children, who are members of the South Prairie club. Kendra is active in the Norris School Parent Teacher Organization and has served as its president.
April. Stephenie Doeschot. Ten years ago, Stephenie started as a project leader for Creative Kids 4-H club. Now she is treasurer of 4-H Council and a County Fair co-superintendent of the 4-H Style Revue. She also has helped with Food Booth at the County Fair and Fair Fun Day tours for daycare groups.
"I like being a 4-H volunteer because it is so much fun!" says Stephenie. "Not only fun, but it is such a great opportunity to teach practical skills for life that also build character. 4-H develops poise, confidence and helps build the leaders of tomorrow -- who wouldn't want to be a part of that? Every time I see a child learn a new skill or accomplish a seemingly hard task, I am so proud to be a part of 4-H!"
She and her husband Clayton operate a family farm near Hickman with their four children (who are 4-H members). In addition to volunteering for 4-H, Stephenie is director of Primary Camp at Maranatha Bible Camp and a crew leader of Dare 2 Share youth conference.
May. Karol Swotek. Karol is leader of the 4-H Explorers club, which she started four years ago when her daughter was old enough to be in 4-H. Karol had been a 4-H member herself for 12 years in Sheridan County.
"I like being a 4-H volunteer because 4-H provides an opportunity for interaction doing everyday activities at an enlightening, educational level," says Karol. "4-H activities encourage development of skills and abilities that otherwise may go untapped or undiscovered. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is being given the opportunity to try new activities with a supportive structure. Our members are building friendships on shared interests and teamwork. Club members find out working can be fun, such as helping at the 4-H Food Booth, building a positive work attitude."
In addition to volunteering for 4-H, Karol also volunteers in school, church and community events.
June. Sandy Talbert. Sandy grew up in 4-H and was a junior leader in Colorado. In Kansas, when her daughter was old enough to join 4-H, Sandy started a 4-H club and was leader for five years. After moving to Nebraska in 1991, her daughter joined a club led by Barb and Ron Suing (who are still active volunteers) and Sandy helped. Sandy has been one of the 4-H Food Superintendents at the Lancaster County Fair for 16 years. She has also volunteered for 4-H at the Kansas and Nebraska State Fairs.
"I like being a 4-H volunteer because I enjoy working with youth of all ages and help them to grow through learning things in areas of their interest," says Sandy. "I love to see when kids learn something new and the excitement of getting their projects done and the honors they win at the fair. I have even learned different ways to do things from the youth and other 4-H leaders."
July. Debbie Brandt. Debbie has been one of the 4-H Food Superintendents at the Lancaster County Fair for more than 20 years. She was leader of the Needles and Noodles 4-H club for 11 years and has served two years on 4-H Council.
"Working and learning with young people is exciting when you see them succeed and take pride in what they've accomplished," says Debbie. "Being a lifelong learner is important to me. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer was the wonderful group of moms I got to know with the Needles and Noodles group. They would stay and often help at our meetings, so it was one big caring group. They even had a baby shower for me!”Debbie lives in Lincoln with her husband Gary. Their four children are 4-H alumni. She also volunteers with Bright Lights, Boy Scouts, East High Band and her church.
August. Susan Frobish. Susan has volunteered with 4-H for seven years. She has helped with several 4-H clubs: Blazing Saddles, Lincoln Broomtails, Horseshoe Club, Rabbits R Us and Canine Companions. She is currently organizational leader for Star City Kids and Flying Hoofs Jr. She has also helped at the Lancaster County Fair during static exhibit check-in and at the 4-H Corner Stop snack booth.
“I like being a 4-H volunteer because the 4-H program is excellent in teaching skills, character-building and fun!” says Susan. “The kids and entire 4-H community are such wonderful people. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer was helping the Flying Hoofs Jr. kids prepare for--and complete--their horse level testing.”
September. Harry Muhlbach. Harry joined 4-H 50 years ago and has volunteered with 4-H for more than 40 years. He started volunteering in Buffalo County and has been a Lancaster County 4-H volunteer for 27 years. He is currently swine project leader with the Rock Creek Ranchers 4-H club and 4-H Swine Superintendent at the Lancaster County Fair.
Harry says, “I like being a 4-H volunteer because it’s a very good organization to help kids build a good background for their future in society. They learn what can be done if they want it. My favorite experience was at the county fair, watching the next generation of family members start to show animals.”
His eight children and some of his step-children are 4-H alumni. Two of Harry’s grandchildren are members of the Rock Creek Ranchers. In addition to volunteering for 4-H, Harry works with the Raymond Volunteer Department.
October. Martin Dye. Martin has volunteered with 4-H for approximately 10 years. He is a member of the Lancaster County Horse VIPS Committee and helps at the Lancaster County Fair and State 4-H Horse Shows. At the Lancaster County Fair, he is in charge of arena preparation for the horse shows.
Martin says, “I like being a 4-H volunteer because it’s a way to share some of your life experiences with youth, to help them grow in their experiences. I would like to see more fathers, brothers, uncles and grandfathers volunteer in all areas of 4-H. The time spent pays great dividends helping youth gain a solid foundation in life. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer was to witness the growth and success of each rider each year as they improve their skill levels and to help them to learn how to accomplish new skills, no matter which club they belong to.”
Martin also volunteers for the Central Plains Reining Horse Association. His two daughters grew up in the 4-H Horse program and have competed in AQHA, NRHA and CPRHA. Congratulations to Martin. Volunteers like him are indeed the heart of 4-H!
November. Becky Grimes. Becky has been a 4-H volunteer for 10 years as leader for Rock Creek Kids 4-H club.
“I like being a 4-H volunteer because I enjoy being with young people and getting to know them and their families,” says Becky. “I enjoy seeing them develop skills and character traits they will have their entire lives. I believe it is important that 4-H’ers have opportunities to volunteer. This is stated in the 4-H pledge, ‘We pledge ourselves to better living for our club, community, country and world.’ Our club picks up two miles of road litter every spring. We also participate in the Kiwanis Karnival and work a shift at the 4-H Corner Stop snack booth at the Lancaster County Fair. The past three years, we have spent a Saturday afternoon at Lancaster Manor playing bingo with the residents.”
December. Leia Noel. Leia has volunteered for 4-H for four years. She is organizational leader of the Happy Hearts 4-H club, helps at 4-H Clover College and volunteers at the 4-H Corner Stop snack booth (along with her club) at the Lancaster County Fair.
“I enjoy helping the children learn life skills that they will take with them into their adult life,” says Leia. “My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is seeing my 4-H members learn and yet have fun. This year we made some sponge balls during club time for our child development project and then they had to come up with games that were age-appropriate. It was great to see them be creative, work in teams, problem solve and develop leadership skills.”
She lives in Lincoln with husband and their children who are in 4-H. In addition to Leia’s volunteer work with 4-H, she also volunteers at her church and coordinates Food Net for Zion Church.
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