Story and Photos courtesy of Barry Cleveland
The young people honored two weeks ago as the 2016 Carmi Corn King Queen and King were introduced to the Kiwanis Club of Carmi Thursday afternoon.
Queen Josephine Hubele and King Jace Carter addressed the club (which sponsors Corn Day) during its weekly luncheon meeting, held at the Farm Bureau Building. The runners-up for the titles were also on hand, as well as the parents of several of the young local 4-H club members.
Both honorees expressed their appreciation to the Kiwanis Club, which has crowned a Corn King and Queen every October for more than 75 years. The winners are chosen on the basis of their 4-H careers.
Carter has been a member of the Centerville Ripsnorters 4-H Club for the past nine years.
“I have participated in many community service projects and have taken a lot of projects” during his 4-H career, he told the club.
Some of his favorite projects were cooking, citizenship and weather, he said, while he listed community service projects in which he has been involved as assisting in the Kids Helping Kids walk, making and delivering cards to Wabash Christian Retirement Center residents, and cleaning yards for people unable to do that.
Carter has received the Victory, HCE, safety and secretary awards. He is a member of the CWCHS football and track teams, as well as the FFA, Key Club and Shooting Sports SPIN Club. He has received the Kiwanis and Rotary awards, as well as awards for scholarship and attendance.
“Being chosen as Corn King is quite an honor, and I look forward to representing the Kiwanis Club and 4-H in the upcoming year,” said Carter, a student at Carmi-White County High School and the son of Justin James and Jennifer Carter-James of Carmi.
Hubele, 17, the daughter of John and Rachelle Hubele of Carmi, is a 10-year member of the Mad Hatters 4-H Club. She is completing her final year of high school at Southeastern Illinois College.
She expressed appreciation to local 4-H youth coordinators Amy McCarty and Melissa Wilson, as well as to her club leaders and parents “for encouraging me to do my best and complete my goals and projects each year.”
“Most of all,” she added, “I would like to thank my Heavenly Father for the gifts and abilities He has given me to share with others.”
Hubele, a 4-H member since the age of 8, listed four of her main project areas as sewing and textiles, food and nutrition, visual arts and sheep. But she chose to highlight her favorite areas, sewing and textiles, and sheep.
She has shown a wether, a ewe lamb and a yearling ewe each of the past eight years. “I have also raised sheep from birth until show time for four years, even bottle feeding many of the lambs,” Hubele told the club. “Each year, this project gets more and more challenging, as I have less time to devote to training my sheep.
“As for my other favorite project,” she said, “I devote a portion of each summer to constructing a dress. I enjoy challenging myself to create a more complicated garment each year, with my most difficult project being the evening gown I wore for the Corn Queen competition. My passion for sewing has also led me to assist with sewing workshops for the past three years, allowing me to teach younger 4-H members how to sew.”
Hubele called creating and showing projects at the annual 4-H fair “a wonderful part of 4-H,” but she said she realized a few years ago that the most important aspect of the 4-H program is “learning to be a leader and making a difference in my club, my community, my country and my world.”
Since then, she said, “I began taking leadership positions in my club and county, serving as club president and secretary for two and three years, respectively, as well as county president and secretary for two and three years, respectively, as well.
“I also volunteered as a knitting teacher for one of the craft classes at Dawson Springs (Ky.) 4-H Camp, taught a six-week knitting class for White County 4-H and taught a three-day knitting class for SIC’s College for Kids over the summer.”
She has been active at the state level, as well, being selected as an Illinois delegate for the 2015 Citizenship Washington Focus trip. That allowed her to travel with 22 other Illinois 4-H members to Washington, D.C., “to see the sights and learn about the government process.”
Hubele also received the Illinois Key Award and took part in Speaking for Illinois 4-H and Legislative Connection for the first time last spring. She was able to speak with members of the Illinois Legislature about 4-H and said a highlight was meeting and speaking with her two members of the General Assembly, State Sen. Dale Righter and State Rep. David Reis.
“Perhaps my most important statewide honor occurred this last spring,” she said: receiving the Illinois Project Mastery award in the Sewing and Textiles Division.
“This award has given me the opportunity to attend National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Ga.”
And she recently learned she was chosen from the state award winners to be the Illinois flag bearer at the National Assembly.
“I look forward to representing Illinois 4-H but, most of all, White County 4-H at this ultimate award trip,” Hubele added.
Longtime Kiwanian Greg Stewart also introduced the runners-up: Gia Berekashvili, a six-year member of the Mad Hatters and son of Giorgi and Valerie Berekashvili of Carmi; Abby Bryant, a ten-year member of the Mad Hatters and daughter of Brian and Sandra Bryant of Carmi; Kaden Carter, a six-year member of the Centerville Ripsnorters and son of Jason and Amber Carter of Carmi; Laney Cawthron, a six-year member of the Enfield Blue Ribbon 4-H Club and daughter of Chris and Beth York of Springerton and Cliff Cawthron of Effingham; Cody Nausley, a five-year member of the Centerville Ripsnorters and son of Lex and Shannon Nausley of Carmi; and Caitlin South, an eight-year member of the Enfield Blue Ribbon 4-H Club and daughter of Gene and Angelia South of Enfield.
Each received a cash award from Kiwanis; the king and queen had been presented other items symbolic of their accomplishments when they were “coronated” on Corn Day.
Stewart said he expects that two of the runners-up may be presented to the club next year as the 2017 Corn Queen and King. And he thanked Amy McCarty and Holly Healy for “putting it all together.”
The program followed a meal prepared and served by The Green Onion of Crossville.
In club business, Healy (representing President Jeremy Jordan, who was absent) presented a past president’s plaque to the club’s 2015 chief executive, Chris Myers.
Sandra Bryant announced that Wabash Christian’s new Therapy and Medical Clinic on Oak Street in Carmi will host a ribbon-cutting and open house from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, with another open house scheduled for 12-2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6.
Dave Johnson won the weekly 50-50 drawing, splitting a jackpot of $24 with the club. Dan Drone and Eric Rahlfs won Carmi Kiwanis caps.