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White County 4-H Celebrates Evening of Excellence

A year of work was rewarded Saturday, November 4 at the annual 4-H Evening of Excellence Achievement Awards Night held at the Emmanuel Methodist Church in Carmi. Members and clubs received medals, prizes, and honors for their work completed September 2022 through August 2023. Every one of the 122 members of 4-H was called individually on stage to receive their awards.

The Centerville Ripsnorters 4-H Club received the Club of the Year Award, sponsored by the White County Farm Bureau. The group conducted several community service projects including donating bottles of water to the local fire department, collected money & club members brought donations for the Carmi Compassion Center, worked the gate at the Christmas Lights of Hope, collected and donated bottle cap tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, and sponsored a Unit wide Veterans Food Drive by raising money and collecting food for the Marion VA. Mallory Thompson, Jaclyn Garner, Amy Buchanan, Ranelle Hubele, and Liz Masterson are leaders of the club.

The Friend of 4-H Award honors businesses and individuals who have given their time, talents, and resources to improve the 4-H program. The Friend of 4-H Award honors businesses and individuals who have given of their time, talents, and resources to improve the 4-H program. This nominee as a local business, they are always willing to step up to help not only our local clubs but the White County 4-H Federation as well. In the past year, they have donated numerous items to help sustain the local GIFT Garden which helps to feed our community. Along with the donation of plants, seed packets, and planting pods, they also donated a $1,000.00 grant to help sustain and improve the garden. For the Mad Hatters 4-H Club, they helped us with a candy donation for our Corn Day float. Without their generous donation, we would not have had enough candy to last during the entire parade route. They are also generous enough to donate the location for the Salvation Army bell ringing location which is a local service project for multiple clubs as well as the federation. Our local Carmi Walmart is definitely a friend to White County 4-H!

Another Friend of 4-H nominee makes sure that the Corn Day King and Queen float is in working order each Corn Day by donating parts, labor, and fuel to keep the float running each year. They make sure the signs with the names are on the float. Gary can often be found, with his corn hat on, during the Corn Day parade as the driver of the float.

Additionally, they also keep the car that the King and Queen ride through the parades in working order. Sometimes they even haul it to the parade destination and then take it back to Carmi after the parade. They donate the fuel, parts, and labor to make sure our 4-Hers can have this part of the Corn Day Royalty experience. You will also find them at the 4-H auction each year, again donating their time and treasure to encourage 4-Hers. I ask that you give Gary and Mary Cates and Cherry Street Automotive a thank you as our other 2023 Friend of 4-H!

This special person grew up as a White County 4-H member and loved it. Now as an adult she has used the skills she learned to teach her daughter what 4-H is all about. She took on the “huge” role of Cloverbud leader. Teaching young ones about how fun 4-H can be. All while finishing her student teaching to become a special education teacher. She also helps out wherever is needed in her daughter’s club for example she led the Veterans Days Food Drive which was a huge impact on the veterans at the Marion VA. She is always collecting money when extra is needed for community service projects. She also stepped up and jumped at the chance to be an interior design judge when I asked to be during the 2023 White County 4-H General Show. Then, when she is not doing all of this she is a full-time wife, mom, teacher, and still finds time to help the Centerville Ripsnorters 4-H Club and White County 4-H in any way possible. Help me congratulate Amanda Spencer Bridgewater as our 2023 White County 4-H Alumni.

Last November we lost one of our beloved 4-H alumni and long-time livestock superintendents, Donnie Seitz. We certainly appreciate Donnie’s commitment, passion, and time investing in 4-H for many years. Donnie was a 4-Her himself, excelled as a leader and won various 4-H awards. He continued to be an asset by supporting our 4-Hers who have a sheep project through prizes and monetary donations. He also had an eye for spotting the winners each year! With Donnie’s passing his family wanted to keep his memory alive through a $500.00 memorial scholarship award each year to a 4-H livestock member who was a senior in high school in the past year. This first year’s recipient will be Daisy Roser.

The White County Extension Support Committee once again honored the new Corn King and Queen and all the attendants. The Committee wanted to show them their appreciation of their willingness to participate in all the activities this past October. They also would like to thank the Corn King and Queen for their willingness to take on extra responsibilities throughout this coming year, as in riding in all the parades Kiwanis asks of them. We are proud that you represent the face of White County: 2023 Corn Aidan Jordan, 2023 Corn Queen Annsley Healy, and their attendants; Kaitlyn Aldrich, Katelyn Allen, Kinsey Allen, Katelyn Davis, Eva Grogan, and Trinity McCormick.

First-year members were given a full scholarship to 4-H camp as a recipient of the Outstanding First Year Member Award. Brooklyn Thompson of the Grayville Go-Getters and Braden Tomm of Centerville Ripsnorters were a first-year outstanding member.

Four 4-H members are completing their 4-H careers this year. Lane Buchanan, Nate Garner, Cole Roberson, and Samantha Stallings received completion pins.

The Victory Award recognizes 4-H members who attend the most activities and complete the most projects during the year. Three age divisions winners (8 and 9-year-olds, 10 and 11-year-olds and 12-year-olds) in each club are selected, then an overall county winner for each division is selected. Club winners in the 8 and 9-year-old group were Kenley Davis of the Mad Hatters, Brooklyn Thompson of the Grayville Go-Getters, Braden Tomm of the Centerville Ripsnorters, and Leo Sutton of the 76 Clovers. Brooklyn Thompson was the county winner of the 8 and 9-year-olds. Winners in the 10 and 11-year-old group were Alliyanah Richardson of the Enfield Blue Ribbon, Nevan Jordan of the Centerville Ripsnorters, and Cora Sutton of the 76 Clovers. Nevan Jordan was the county winner. Winners in the age 12 group were Kenley Black of the Enfield Blue Ribbon, Katelyn Garner of the Centerville Ripsnorters, and Jalynn Phillips of the 76 Clovers. Jalynn Phillips was the county winner of the age 12 group.

4-H members who excel in project work may compete in competition for county medals of honor. This year’s medal winners included Katelyn Allen: Achievement, Brooklyn Thompson and Braden Tomm: Agriculture, Nevan Jordan and Brooklyn Thompson: Personal Development, Bri Bridgewater and Katelyn Garner: Food & Nutrition, Brooklyn Thompson and Sophie Walker: Home & Family, Nevan Jordan and Brooklyn Thompson: Plants & Soils, and Kenley Davis and Aidan Jordan: Natural Resources

The Ken Korte Memorial Safety Award recognizes 4-H members who have outstanding work in the safety area. Kenley Davis took first place in the junior division. The winner in the senior division was Kaitlyn Aldrich, with Katelyn Allen receiving second and Caroline Simmons third. The 4-H members received cash prizes sponsored by the Wabash Christian Therapy.

The Encouragement Award urges young people to keep trying hard no matter how big the obstacles are in their way. That ‘never give up’ attitude is recognized in this year’s five winners: Katelyn Davis, Eva Grogan, Aidan Jordan, Brooke Rahmoeller, and Hunter Robinson.

Once a 4-H member enters high school, the demands on their time are unbelievable. Trust me. It may be tempting to drop 4-H to ease up the pressure, but the 4-H members

receiving the I Dare You Award this year have not given in. They keep coming to 4-H meetings and events because 4-H matters to them. The I Dare You Award challenges youth to Think Tall, Smile Tall, Stand Tall and Live Tall Kinsely Allen, Kinley Carter, Annsley Healy, Grace McCarty, and Trinity McCormick have done just that, as our recipients this year.

Winners of the Health Award were Kenley Davis in the 8-12 age group. Earning second place was Niah Haley. The winner in the 13-18 age group was Brooke Rahmoeller. Earning second place was Caroline Simmons and Katelyn Davis third Dr. Timothy Roser of the Carmi Family Dental Office sponsored the health awards.

The White County Association of Home and Community Education awards $50 checks to 4-H members who excel in home and family 4-H projects. This year’s winners were Kenley Davis and Annsley Healy. In addition, this year the White County HCE sponsored a $200 scholarship to a graduating senior. This year’s winner was Daisy Roser.

Nevan Jordan decided this past year that he wanted to take electricity as one of his many projects. For his work, Nevan earned the Illinois Electrification Council plaque.

Healy Farms sponsored the Community Involvement Award, which recognizes members who are great at service to others. The winner in the senior division was Kaitlyn Aldrich, Katelyn Allen second place, and Caroline Simmons third. The winners in the junior division were Jalynn Phillips, first place, Brooklyn Thompson, second, and Kelsey Aldrich third.

WRUL/WROY and Brownfield Ag was honored to award two young members with this year’s ag youth award on behalf of the Brownfield Ag News. Presented with these awards were Lincoln Draper and Eli Bryant.

JC Tinsley, on behalf of WRUL/WROY and Brownfield Ag presented the Promotional Performance Award to two young 4-Hers. The first is a kind of Lifetime achievement recognizing a 4-Her who is nearing the end of their 4-H run, who has shown exemplary commitment to showing up for their role in radio commercials, and who have come a long way from the nervous young person who stepped in front of a microphone for the first time. This year’s winner was Lyla Wolff. The second award goes to a Best of this year, which could be the young person who has shown up the most consistently, shown the most improvement or continued excellence, or is perhaps simply the best ambassador in getting the word out about the programs and activities that 4-H is involved in. This year’s winner was Katelyn Garner.

The Carmi Elks sponsored the top club officers in the county: Breyton Sauls, top president; Annsley Healy, top secretary; Kenley Davis, top treasurer; and Kallen Sutton top office reporter.

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