02/01/12 — 4-H holds annual awards banquet

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4-H holds annual awards banquet

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on February 1, 2012 1:46 PM

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Receiving project record book awards were, front from left, Stephen Finch, Daniel Dunn, Sarah McDowell, Elizabeth Rowe and Mary Dunn; back, Micah Lee, Hannah Lee, Grace McDowell, Sara Davis and Christopher Finch.

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New officers are, front from left, Micah Lee, Tara Simmons, Elizabeth Rowe, Renee Betterson and Chris Sherfey; back, Marisa Linton, Sara Davis, Luke Hill, Matthew Simmons, Hannah Lee and Erykah Betterson.

Wayne County's 4-H'ers and adult leaders were recognized at an awards banquet last week for doing everything from giving of their time for local service projects, to completing project record books, to participating in a nationwide cleanup.

The top honor went to Ann Finch, who was named Leader of the Year. In addition to being leader of the TEACH 4-H Club, which has 90 members, she also is co-leader of the Roto Raptures Robotics 4-H Club. She has volunteered with the 4-H program for almost 19 years. During this time, she has attended hundreds of county, district and state events.

Her nomination form stated that she "comes up with new ideas and is always willing to launch new curricula with her club. She gets youths and parents involved in the club meetings and on committees."

Two local groups received the Friends of 4-H awards for supporting the program and making it possible to better the lives of 4-H'ers.

JCPenney has provided financial support for the 4-H robotics club for the past two years, and gave the club members the opportunity to compete in the robotics contest in Raleigh last year.

The Wayne County Livestock Development Association has supported Wayne County 4-H for many years, giving scholarships, as well as the opportunity for youths to set up exhibits at the county fair to showcase their activities and more.

Chris Sherfey was recognized as the State Youth Volunteer of the Year. Last year, he gave 620 hours of service to the community. He also helped at summer camps, taught workshops at the 4-H Institute, set up and manned a 4-H booth at Kidsfest, made food boxes for shut-ins, made back-to-school bags for youths and organized a fall festival at his church.

Sara Davis was recognized as the District Youth Volunteer of the Year. She taught summer camps, manned a 4-H booth at Kidsfest, bagged food for a local food bank, was a vacation Bible school director, painted and cleaned her church community building, wrote thank-you cards to military personnel and prepared bags for homeless shelters.

It was also announced that Michael Spears was the recipient of the $1,000 Dr. Clarence Poe scholarship, Lindsay Stutts was the recipient of the $1,000 Southeast 4-H Development Fund scholarship and Marisa Linton was the recipient of the $2,000 Edwards Gore/Gen. Hugh Shelton 4-H Leadership scholarship.

During the banquet, cumulative record winners were named. They were Alec Linton, silver in the 13- to 15-year-old sheep/goats; Elizabeth Rowe, silver in the 16- to 18-year-old expressive arts and gold for sheep/goats; and Lindsay Stutts, gold in the 16- to 18-year-old citizenship and community service.

Receiving awards for the state skillathon contest were Mary Dunn, third place for junior individual; Mary Dunn, Daniel Dunn, Allan Johnson and Taylor Glover, first for junior team; Elizabeth Rowe, first for senior individual; and Elizabeth Rowe, Amanda Wheaton, Brittany Sigmon and Bradley Glover, second for senior team.

The skillathon is a writing contest that tests the youths' knowledge about all areas of livestock.

President service awards went to 21 4-H'ers for demonstrating commitment and example and inspiring others to volunteer. They were Hannah Lee, Tara Simmons, Luke Hill, Stephen Finch, Justin Spears, Amanda Wheaton Marisa Linton, Micah Lee, Christopher Finch, Noah McDowell, Mary Dunn, Grace McDowell, Brittany Sigmon, Matthew Simmons, Wesley Simmons, Alec Linton, Orianna Aycock, Elizabeth Rowe, Chris Sherfey, Sara Davis and Heather Aycock.

Several local 4-H clubs received awards for participating in the annual Big Sweep cleanup. Wayne County clubs have helped clean roadways and waterways here for almost 25 years. In 2011, 227 volunteers cleaned 15 miles at 15 sites, picking up 54 bags of trash.

Community service awards were also presented to 64 4-H'ers who gave 4, 241 hours of their time last year. They also amassed 1,424 hours of service as junior leaders in 2011.

New officers were also elected. They are Sara Davis, president; Tara Simmons, president-elect; Alec Linton and Kristian Parks, vice presidents; Amanda Wheaton, secretary; Luke Hill, treasurer; Erykah Betterson, reporter; McKayla Parks, parliamentarian; Matthew Simmons and Chris Sherfey, song leaders; Christopher Finch and Renee Betterson, recreational leaders; Hannah Lee and Micah Lee, district representatives; Elizabeth Rowe, youth adviser; and Marisa Linton, past president. Installing the new officers was Summer Young, 4-H program associate.

Concluding the awards banquet, Mrs. Young praised the 4-H'ers saying that they reach and help a lot of people all while developing their own life skills that will help them into adulthood.

"They get experiences and achieve many things that they may not receive without the 4-H program," she said. "4-H'ers are dependable and respectful youth who want to learn and grow."