On October 12 Sussex County 4-H honored the volunteers responsible for the youth development program’s success in 2013. Sixty five of the 165 adult volunteers attended the annual dinner held at the Baleville Congregational Church in Newton.
The number of years volunteers have shared varies from just a few months to as long as sixty two years! The dinner affords the opportunity to recognize the contributions all have made to enrich the lives of local youth. In addition to the pins and certificates commemorating volunteer’s years of service, special awards are also presented.
The Sussex County 4-H Youth Development Award is presented to an individual for outstanding and continuous service to the program. Deborah Brodhecker received this award in recognition of her fourteen years of service as a leader with the Love on a Leash, 4-H/Seeing Eye® guide dog club. This club, combining youth and adult members, raises puppies that will be trained in the Seeing Eye® program (http://www.seeingeye.org/) to assist the blind. Deb also leads the Summer Blossoms 4-H club that focuses on horticulture. Along with her co-leader, Amy Stewart, Deb teaches youth about growing flowers, vegetables and herbs.
The 4-H Alumni Award recognizes individuals who were active members of 4-H as youth and continue to contribute to the Sussex County 4-H program. This year’s recipient, Lisa Chammings, joined a 4-H horse club when she was nine years old and has been involved with 4-H ever since. Lisa continues to serve through participation on various committees that: promote county horse shows, have raised funds to construct a 4-H building at the fairgrounds and advise the overall county 4-H program.
The Friend of 4-H Award is presented in recognition of distinguished service and outstanding leadership abilities. This year Sussex County 4-H recognizes Mary Ann Acetta for her long standing service assisting 4-H groups at the New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm and Horse Show. Mary Ann has been instrumental in scheduling numerous 4-H clubs to make use of the buildings and facilities at the fairgrounds.
Local businesses are acknowledged through the 4-H Business Award that recognizes outstanding and continuous service to the 4-H program. This year’s recipient is Sussex Bank who has generously sponsored many of the 4-H livestock shows at the annual New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm and Horse Show more than twelve years. These include 4-H shows for youth showing sheep, pigs and goats.