Heart of 4-H Award Winners

Thank you for helping make a difference!

Connie Kreikemeier
January: Connie Kreikemeier

Connie has been leader of the Super Shamrocks 4-H club for three years and she helped the previous leader for three years. Super Shamrocks has been a Nebraska 4-H Club of Excellence for several years. Connie also has volunteered during judging of 4-H static exhibits at the Lancaster County Super Fair and helped at 4-H food booth at fair.

"I enjoy watching the youth learn new ideas and also love seeing their achievements at the county fair," says Connie. "I enjoy helping the youth learn life skills that will benefit them in the future. If it is learning how to bake or learning how to give back to the community, I hope I have touched their lives in some way."

Jean Nabity
February: Jean Nabity

Jean has volunteered about five years with Lancaster County 4-H, and before that, about five years with Seward County 4-H.

In this county, Jean has helped in various ways: a project leader for the 4-H Explorers club | 4-H Clover College instructor and volunteer | co-superintendent of the 4-H Poultry Show at the Lancaster County Super Fair | volunteered at the 4-H Food Booth at Super Fair.

"I like being a 4-H volunteer because it keeps me actively involved with my kids," Jean says. "My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is definitely county fair. From the hustle and rush of getting projects and animals ready and in on time, to the hours spent just hanging out with family and other 4-H friends during each day of the fair."

Teresa Brandt
March: Teresa Brandt

A 4-H volunteer for six years, Teresa started as leader of the horseless club, Star Spangled Saddles. Four years ago, she started the Boots 'N' Hooves club with three youth and it has grown to 15 members. She has been a superintendent of English and Western 4-H horse shows at the Lancaster County 4-H Super Fair. She is also a member of the Horse Volunteers in Program Service (VIPS) Committee and a tester at group horsemanship level testings.

"I like being a 4-H volunteer because I have gotten to see these kids grow up into young adults and even see a couple off to college," Teresa says. "They surprise me with their dedication to their horses and the project as well as their loyalty to their club and their dedication to service. I get the chance to help them try new and exciting volunteer opportunities. I am always learning from these amazing kids and I hope I've been able to teach them some things along the way too. It is incredibly easy to dedicate my time when I have kids as great as these. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer has been getting to see a few of these kids go from not even owning a horse to being responsible horse owners and amazing showmen. Watching my kids have success in the show ring and in their lives is why I volunteer for 4-H."

Marsha Prior
April: Marsha Prior

Marsha started a 4-H club, "Clover Kids," in 1978 and was leader of it for more than 12 years. One year, the club earned Outstanding 4-H Club for participation in the county fair. Marsha has taught numerous classes on sewing, cooking and needlework. She has also helped with the 4-H food booth at the county fair and Citizenship Washington Focus. In 2009, Marsha started the Fusion 4-H'ers club, which won Outstanding 4-H Club for Category II with 8–12 members and was recognized as a Nebraska Club of Excellence last year.

"I like being a 4-H volunteer because I am involved in promoting countless enriching learning experiences for children," says Marsha. "My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is the smiles of each and every 4-H'er when they have personally learned and accomplished another of their goals. It may be a sewing project completed, making a yummy cookie, a beautiful drawing, a photograph that shows the beauty of our world, a woodworking project, a rocket blasting off, giving a speech, a completed record book, helping one another, a community service project well done, etc."

Cathy Plager
May: Cathy Plager

A 4-H volunteer for eight years, Cathy has helped in a variety of ways, including:

  • parent volunteer with the 4-H Explorers and Pick-a-Pig 4-H clubs
  • 4-H Council member (has helped with Council activities such 4-H Achievement Night, Chicken Dinner fundraiser at Super Fair and 4-H Food Booth at Super Fair)
  • 4-H Council representative on the Extension Board
  • Clover College instructor and helper
  • Table Setting Contest volunteer

"I like being a 4-H volunteer because of the wonderful lifelong impact that is grown in youth," says Cathy. "When youth accomplish their goals in 4-H, their faces show what their heart is feeling. My favorite experiences as a 4-H volunteer is being part of the excitement of the Lancaster County Super Fair. There is such a tremendous amount of learning that takes place, that it is fun to be around. The staff at Lancaster County Extension are tremendous people and help create a welcoming environment for anyone interested in volunteering."

Shar Sieck
June: Sharlyn "Shar" Sieck

A 4-H volunteer for more than 15 years, Sharlyn is a member of 4-H Council and currently is the 4-H Council representative on the Extension Board. She assists with Happy Go Lucky 4-H club member projects such as food and nutrition, sewing, and cattle. Sharlyn also volunteers at the Lancaster County Super Fair, helping with static exhibits, Style Revue and 4-H food booth.

"I was in 4-H and gained so much through it," says Sharlyn. "I love being able to share my passion with youth. It is very rewarding to watch the kids grow and progress with their skills through the projects. Years ago, I volunteered to judge the bucket calf show at a local county fair. It was one of my most memorable and entertaining experiences I have encountered through volunteering. I truly feel that 4-H offers something for everyone regardless of their background or talents. Through 4-H, youth have the opportunity to learn and to be successful."

Virginia Prey
July: Virginia Prey

A 4-H volunteer for over ten years, Virginia helps the Lancaster County 4-H Horse program in a variety of ways:

  • she helped develop the 4-H Horse Special Needs Trail Show at the Lancaster County Super Fair in 2007 and continues to be superintendent of the show
  • member of the Horse Volunteers in Program Service (VIPS) Committee
  • formed and was leader of the Viken Riders 4-H club
  • has provided horses to horseless youth

"I like being a 4-H volunteer because it allows me to give back to the community," says Virginia. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is watching kids grow and develop."

Lianne Garza
August: Lianne Garza

A volunteer for about six years, Lianne is a parent volunteer with the "Fantastic 4" 4-H Club and has taught workshops at 4-H Clover College. Fantastic 4 is a Nebraska Club of Excellence and has been a Lancaster County Super Fair Outstanding 4-H Club winner for five years.

"I really like helping the kids," says Lianne. "I love seeing how excited they get when learning new things. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer is the community service projects our club does. It is very rewarding to watch our club give back and grow from those experiences."

KayCee Wanser
September: KayCee Wanser

KayCee Wanser has volunteered with the Fantastic 4 4-H club for four years, helping with their community service projects such as Kiwanis Karnival and activities with Union Manor Apartments, a residence for senior citizens. The club’s six members have already volunteered more than 500 hours in 2014. Fantastic 4 is a Nebraska Club of Excellence and has been a Lancaster County Super Fair Outstanding 4-H Club winner for five years. KayCee has also presented and helped present workshops at 4-H Clover College.

“I enjoy the opportunity to teach the youth of our community about volunteerism by showing them just how much fun it can be,” she says. “I also enjoy the lasting relationships I have been able to create over the past few years and look forward to the new ones I am soon to create. I have particularly enjoyed the opportunity to work with youth and see them grow and develop. There is nothing better than watching kids complete projects all while gaining self-esteem, building character and maturing with the pillars of 4-H!”

Scott and Rita Sieck
October: Scott and Rita Sieck

Scott and Rita Sieck have helped with Lancaster County 4-H for three years, been 4-H leaders in Saline County for five years, and helped with FFA for about 10 years. Scott and Rita helped establish and grow the 4-H/FFA Meat Goat show at the Lancaster County Super Fair. They are superintendents of the 4-H Meat Goat shows at the Lancaster and Saline County Fairs. Scott and Rita have also provided meat goats for the Lancaster County Super Fair 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging and Elite Showmanship contests, as well as Ak-Sar-Ben Livestock Judging Contests.

“We like being 4-H volunteers to witness development of character,” say Scott and Rita. “Youth ‘grow’ as they participant in 4-H. The life lessons taught to 4-H’ers can be useful resources as they grow. Meat goats are our passion — observing the incorporation of something ‘different’ to be accepted as ‘normal.’”

Kari Price
November: Kari Price

A volunteer for seven years, Kari is a parent volunteer with the Star City Llama/Alpaca 4-H club and helps with llama/alpaca shows at the Lancaster County Super Fair and Nebraska State Fair. A member of 4-H Council, she helps with the food booth and chicken dinner fundraisers at county fair, as well as 4-H events such as Kick Off and Achievement Celebration. In addition, Kari has taught and assisted with workshops at Clover College.

“I like being a 4-H volunteer because the possibilities in 4-H are literally endless,” says Kari. “They have every club you could ever imagine and if they don’t have it, then they allow you the platform to start one. It has also allowed me to meet a lot of great people I would have never come across had it not been for 4-H. My favorite experience as a 4-H volunteer would be teaching several different classes at Clover College. It is only two hours out of your day, but it comes back 10 fold. How could you not love seeing the kids smiling faces after completing their project. They get so excited and they can’t wait to show it off to everyone that walks by.”

Sue Stanoszek
December: Sue Stanoszek

Sue started volunteering with 4-H at the Nebraska State Fair in 2002, helping at the information booth in the 4-H Building and the Sheep Show. She has volunteered with Lancaster County’s 4-H Clover College since 2010 and Earth Wellness Festival since 2000.

“I like being a 4-H volunteer because of the opportunity to see 4-H’ers participating and having tons of fun laughing and learning in Clover College,” says Sue. “They show seriously-focused minds in competitions at state and county fairs. Their disciplined attitudes so unselfishly give countless hours in caring, feeding, training, sweating — at times tears, too — so their ‘pets’ grow and mature properly. However, unknown to the 4-H’ers, they are also caring, nurturing and training themselves to go beyond their endurance bit by bit. When their bodies are pooped, to give it all they got and then some — to be the best 4-H’ers can be — winners!”