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Dedicated volunteers inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame

DECATUR, Ill. — Volunteers are the lifeblood of the 4-H program. Without their dedication, the many programs that Illinois 4-H offers would simply not reach as many youths. Two outstanding volunteers from DeWitt and Piatt counties were recognized by the Illinois 4-H Foundation and inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame during a virtual ceremony on May 20.

Kim Gibbons from DeWitt County has spent 19 years serving DeWitt 4-H as a community worker. She dedicated countless hours to growing the 4-H program by building positive, long-lasting relationships with youth and volunteers.

Diana Leischner from Piatt County was the smiling face who welcomed everyone to the Piatt County 4-H office for 26 years. Diana not only gave time and donated program materials, but she was also an excellent resource for 4-H staff, who loved hearing her creative program ideas. Diana’s enthusiasm for 4-H was reflected in her work and interactions with youth, volunteers, and staff.

“4-H remains strong because of the impact our Hall of Fame inductees have had through their contribution of time, energy, and passion,” says Jamie Boas, 4-H youth development educator. “We are proud to have them as part of our 4-H family!”

Eighty-four individuals were inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame this year. The Hall of Fame was established in 2005 to celebrate 4-H alumni, volunteers, and former 4-H staff. Nominations are made by either county University of Illinois Extension staff or by the Illinois 4-H Foundation Board. Each inductee receives a commemorative Hall of Fame Medallion.

ABOUT 4-H: Illinois 4-H empowers and prepares Illinois youth for success. University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois, affecting the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs, groups, and short-term programming. Illinois 4-H programs reach nearly 130,000 youth each year through 4-H clubs, camps, educational programs, workshops, and conferences held in communities, schools, parks, and homes across Illinois.

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.

WRITER: Maria Lightner, Marketing and Communications, University of Illinois Extension