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Our Illinois 4-H Story

Clark County 4-H members honor veterans with 'Quilts of Valor'

Some 4-H stories touch your heart in ways you don't ever forget. Meet 4-H member Tiffany Williams from Clark County who, as part of the five-member 4-H QOV Spinners 4-H Club, has donated time, talent and material to make beautiful "Quilts of Valor" for veterans of the area. Deb Lindley, the leader of the QOV Club, is a former 4-H member who "learned how to quilt from the best, Eleanor Markwell," said Extension 4-H Program Coordinator Cartha Gustafson. At 88 years young, Markwell is still a 4-H leader in Clark County, completing 58 years of dedicated volunteer service.

Check out the quilts and project online @ A special viewing of the quilts is planned for 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 21 at the Clark County Extension office. 4-H members have worked more than six months designing and crafting the quilts. Tiffany's Remembrance Quilt will be presented in a dedication ceremony that day to honor her 'Grandpa Joe,' a Viet Nam veteran. Joe was a huge supporter of 4-H. When he died last year, his family gave two scholarships to college-bound 4-H members studying ag. This year, they doubled those amounts.

"I decided to join this to let service men and women know they are appreciated," Tiffany said, "and to get more experience at sewing. I learned that some things you won't understand. My grandpa was in the armed forces and told me lots of things. I am Tiffany Williams, and I LOVE to sew."

Tiffany's giving nature isn't restricted to this quilt project. Each year, to celebrate her October birthday, Tiffany's family, at Tiffany's request, hosts a Haunted Halloween Forest at their farm, with donations accepted to benefit Riley's Children's Hospital and Camp Del-Ja-Ri, a camp for children with auto immune struggles.


Judy Mae Bingman, University of Illinois Extension Marketing and Communications Manager

Judy uses powerful words and photography to tell the Extension story. She is a skilled communication strategist and storyteller with demonstrated success in building teams and creating strong organizational brand identities that deepen Extension’s impact among key audiences, build brand loyalty, strengthen employee talent, and expand public engagement. She is a frequent conference presenter at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Conference and helps Extension staff across the nation tell compelling stories.