Heart of 4-H Award
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Heart of 4-H Award Winners 2007
January. Justy Hagan. Justy has been leader of the Riding Wranglers 4-H Club for twelve years, involved with the Horse VIPS Committee for several years (two as president) and Overall Superintendent of the Lancaster County Fair 4-H Horse Show for two years.
Ben Cruickshank says, "Mrs. Hagan has always been there for me. If your horse gets sick at 2 a.m. in the morning and you can't get a vet to come help you, she will be there. Then, the next day when you have a horse show to go to and you have no horse, she will let you borrow one of hers. She is selfless and caring. If you are willing to listen to her, she can teach you a lot not only about horses, but about life and being a good person."
Justy says, "I like being a 4-H volunteer because I enjoy helping young people develop into productive young citizens. I also enjoy watching them learn and giving them the opportunity to compete and make lifelong friends. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer was having a 4-H club of my own and developing the many lifelong relationships that I have."
A 6th grade science teacher at Norris, Justy also works with Norris FFA youth on horse speed events and horse judging. She also assists with High School Rodeo. Justy lives near Firth with her husband Lynn. Their two sons showed horses in 4-H.
February. Becky McHenry. Becky has volunteered for 4-H more than 10 years. She has been leader of the Shimmering Shamrocks 4-H club for eight years. She taught the crochet project to the Clovers & Company club. A former Lancaster County 4-H member, Becky volunteered at the Lancaster County Fair during high school and college. She also was a 4-H intern during her senior year of college. She assisted with the Ambassador program in the 1990s.
"I like being a 4-H volunteer because it is fun," says Becky. "4-H combines life skills, reasoning, learning and fun into the program. The fair is definitely a highlight of the year, but we have so much fun working on our club projects, community service work (this year we made a club quilt and donated it to the Friendship Home) and celebrating our achievements with shopping trips and potluck swimming parties. One reason I enjoy my club so much is because the parents are the BEST! Each family takes turns teaching the lesson/project and our members run the business meetings.
"I felt a sense of accomplishment last year when we (the club and me) each made a purse for the fair and I made mine all by myself! It is truly joyful to be part of helping my club learn skills and then watch them work with other people through school, Teen Council and their own families."
The Shimmering Shamrocks has received Outstanding 4-H Club award in its category (7 members or less) for four years.
Becky lives in Lincoln with her husband Martin and their daughter Lillian who is 10 months old. Martin helped the Shimmering Shamrocks with the Aerospace project.
March. Linda Hanigan. Linda has been a 4-H volunteer for eight years. She is organization leader for the Friends in 4-H club. She has also helped with her kids' activities in several other clubs, including The Checkmates, Rabbits R Us, Crazy Clovers and Shimmering Shamrocks. Linda has also volunteered at Kiwanis Karnival, with set up for the Lancaster County Fair and in the 4-H snack booth at County Fair.
"I have often learned as much as the kids," says Linda. "4-H is a great way to get to know your kids friends and has brought me into contact with some wonderful and talented people. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer was seeing the groups' exhibits at the fair. A close second is helping with Kiwanis Karnival. The girls come up with such great ideas!"
Linda lives in Lincoln with her husband Richard, and their four children who are all very involved in 4-H.
April. Roberta Sandhorst. Roberta has been a 4-H volunteer for seven years: five years as leader of the Sunshine club (which her daughter was a member of) and two years as leader of the Friends 4 Ever club. Roberta has also been a Clover College instructor, assisted with horticulture exhibits at the Lancaster County Fair, and volunteered at the 4-H Food Booth at county fair.
Elise Kreikemeier, a member of Friends 4 Ever, nominated her, saying, "Roberta helps us to understand what we're working on. She is very patient with us. She does fun activities with us like passing kitchen objects under the table and guessing what they are."
Roberta says, "I like being a 4-H volunteer because I like that 4-H focuses on life skills, community service and leadership among others. My club members enjoy literally everything we do which makes being a leader so rewarding and enjoyable. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer was taking the club to the County Fair to see their exhibits on display. We also spent a lot of time looking at other exhibits and getting great ideas!"
In addition to volunteering for 4-H, Roberta volunteers as a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Master Gardener and in the Bell Choir at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
May. Chris Scow. Seven years ago, Chris started as a parent volunteer for his daughters' club, Boot Scootin' 4-Hers (his wife Tracy and her sister Lisa Preston are leaders of the club). Four years ago, Chris became a member of 4-H Council and has served on the scholarship and food booth committees. As current 4-H Council president, Chris represents 4-H on the Lancaster County Extension Board. He is also active on the Horse VIPS Committee. Chris and his wife Tracy have helped extensively with the 4-H Miniature Horse Show at the Lancaster County Fair.
"I like being a 4-H volunteer because of the positive influence you can have on the lives of our youth through this program," says Chris. "My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer was helping and observing some of our youngest members as they work on and take pride in their projects. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, watching our seniors exhibit the confidence and poise they have gained through their 4-H years. It's easy to observe the value this program offers."
In addition to volunteering for 4-H, Chris coaches YMCA Spirit Soccer and Softball, and is active at his church. He is past president of the Nebraska Agribusiness Club.
June. Chris Stephenson. Chris has volunteered with 4-H for over 7 years in many roles: independent Clover Kids project leader; Rabbits R Us 4-H Club project leader--and now co-leader--of the club; member of Rabbit VIPS Committee; County Fair 4-H Rabbit Superintendent; Bucket Calf Superintendent; Clover College instructor; and Wildlife Habitat team coach. She has also assisted with Shooting Sports programs and the County Fair Bicycle Safety Contest.
"I like being a 4-H volunteer because it's a great way to spend quality family time," says Chris. "I learn as much, or more, as the kids do, and it's my way of giving back to a system that has offered so much to me through the years. I get to see the future in the kids I work with, and it's a beautiful future! My favorite experience is seeing the pride the younger 4-H'ers have in their accomplishments and how the older 4-H'ers mature their skills. The skills 4-H'ers learn will be with them their entire lives."
Chris and her family live on an acreage. In addition to volunteering for 4-H, Chris volunteers at Messiah and Holy Savior Lutheran churches, and at Norris Elementary and Middle schools.
July. Jay Wilkinson Jay has helped his kids with their 4-H projects for 14 years, and volunteered with 4-H for nearly 12 years. He has helped in a variety of ways: Sheep project leader for Happy Go Lucky 4-H club | Lancaster County Fair 4-H sheep superintendent and/or assistant superintendent | Furnishing livestock for 4-H/FFA judging classes | Helping extensively with set-up of livestock pens at county fair
"I like being a volunteer because I play a critical role in helping teach kids important values such as responsibility and team work – and that hard work and dedication truly pays off," says Jay. "My favorite experience as a volunteer has been watching my two daughters grow up and mature through 4-H over the years."
Jay is a former member of Lancaster County Extension Board and is currently on the Lancaster County Agricultural Society Board of Directors (Fair Board). Jay and his family live in a small community near Lincoln.
August. Larry Pershing. Larry has volunteered with Lancaster County 4-H for over 50 years. He started volunteering when his kids, Todd and Tracey, were members of the Rock Creek Ranchers 4-H club. At various times, he was assistant leader and leader of the club. He was active on the VIPS committees for sheep and goat projects. For many years, he served as superintendent of the Lancaster County Fair 4-H sheep and goat shows. Larry was also on a volunteer committee for the Clover Kids program and he has been on 4-H Council. He has long been involved with the livestock booster club and has served as director of the organization.
"4-H provides opportunities for me to help the youth of the community," says Larry. "It is a worthwhile use of my time. I enjoy volunteering at the county fair and watching the kids as they grow."
"Larry is a true inspiration," says 4-H staff member Deanna Karmazin. "Not only does he give his time and talents to make a positive impact on 4-H'ers lives, but he gives his heart also."
September. Lynn Albin. Lynn has served as a club leader for the Liberty Bell Laborers 4-H club for six years. The club has volunteered as a group at the 4-H food booth at the Lancaster County Fair.
"I have enjoyed watching all the kids in our club try new things," she says. "It's fun to watch them learn and succeed in their projects. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is when our club does community service projects and makes decorations or crafts and delivers them to residents of nursing homes."
In addition to volunteering for 4-H, Lynn is also very involved with their church and school--she is an officer for the Home School Association.
October. Kristy Hattan.
She has volunteered for 4-H for 18 years in a variety of roles: leader for the 4-H Sew & Dough Club (3 years) | volunteer during judging of static exhibits at Lancaster County Fair (3 years) and Nebraska State Fair (4 years) | Superintendent of Home Environment areas at county fair (14 years).
"I like watching the joy of accomplishment by the 4-H'ers," says Kristy. "4-H offers a great learning experience for the kids to improve their life skills. 4-H has given me a great opportunity to spend time with my daughters and now my grandson, learning and improving skills while working on a project. I enjoy the County Fair. I love seeing all the final projects by the 4-H'ers. There are a lot of talented and creative young people. Judging day is always busy but very rewarding."
Kristy is a member of the East Campus Starrs group, which sponsors the four plaques awarded in the Home Environment and Child Development areas at county fair. She is also active in her church.
November. Mike and Lanna Shrader. Mike and Lana have been 4-H volunteers for 15 years. They began as parent volunteers for the Happy Go Lucky 4-H club and in 2001, became leaders of the Flying Hoofs 4-H horse club. They are often the superintendents of the Lancaster County Fair 4-H Western Horse show.
Lanna grew up in 4-H. She says, "I learned so much from my first leader, Mrs. Charles Wiechert. To this day, I love to sew and it's because of her I gained those skills. I like watching the 4-H youth grow in their knowledge and riding skills with their horses. By being a 4-H volunteer, I can give youth the opportunities and wonderful memories I had growing up. It's our way to give back and say thank you."
The Shraders have enjoying getting to know many other 4-H families. "Our three daughters have gained many new friends and valuable skills for their futures," says Lanna.
In addition to volunteering with 4-H, Mike and Lanna are high school sponsors for the youth group at their church.
December. Greg Crawford. He has been involved with 4-H for 23 years and is the longtime beef project leader for the Happy Go Lucky 4-H club. Greg's father started the club in the 1930s, and Greg's daughter Bev Pearson is the new club leader. He also has grandchildren who are members of the Happy Go Lucky club. Greg has been the superintendent of the Lancaster County Fair 4-H Beef show for over 10 years and he assists at all beef weigh-ins and nose printings.
"4-H gives me a chance to give back to the community and to be involved with other 4-H families," says Greg. "My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is watching as my grandkids become the 4th generation of our family to show at the Lancaster County Fair."
Greg is a board member of the Nebraska Shorthorn Association and Nebraska Junior Beef Expo, and a junior advisor to the Nebraska Junior Shorthorn Association.
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