Three local volunteers among 2020 Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame honorees

Inductees announced at virtual ceremony Aug. 18

Photos of the honorees

URBANA – Service is a hallmark of the Illinois 4-H program. Annually, the Illinois 4-H Foundation honors longtime volunteers and former staff members for their selfless dedication to 4-H – the University of Illinois Extension youth development program.

“These volunteers fully embody what 4-H strives to instill in youth,” says Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation executive director. “They are caring, dedicated, generous leaders, and the Illinois 4-H Foundation is extremely proud to be able to provide this honor to thank them for their service to this wonderful organization.”

In 2020, 87 individuals – including representatives of DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties – received the Foundation Hall of Fame Award, which was presented during a virtual ceremony Aug. 18. 

  • DuPage County – Dr. Pennie Crinion: Dr. Pennie Crinion has been a valuable member of the 4-H and Extension family for more than 25 years, including serving as a club leader. Her family has deep 4-H roots, from her parents as leaders to her children as active 10-year members. Over the years, Crinion has guided and encouraged not only youth, but other volunteers as a mentor. “She has embodied the 4-H mission. She values the program and the skills that it provides kids,” said Andrea Farrier, local 4-H program coordinator.
  • Kane County – Bonnie L. Kararo: Bonnie L. Kararo has served as a 4-H volunteer for 29 years, including serving as leader of The Challengers 4-H Club where her children were members. In addition to teaching through her club, she also led classes at the countywide 4-H Project Day and served as 4-H superintendent for the 4-H Small Pets Show. She currently is superintendent for veterinary and animal science exhibits at the county fair. “Bonnie is truly an asset to Kane County 4-H,” said Doris Braddock, local 4-H program coordinator.
  • Kendall County – Jodi Brummel: With 27 years of 4-H volunteerism, Jodi Brummel has been both a dependable 4-H club leader and volunteer on multiple committees, with the 4-H Exchange program, and in 4-H show superintendent roles, including clothing and photography. She also is president of the Kendall County Livestock Auction Committee, and she currently heads the Kendall County 4-H Foundation. “Jodi is a dedicated volunteer who truly backs our youth and families,” said Kim Eisnaugle, local 4-H program coordinator.

The Illinois 4-H Foundation established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2005 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers, and former staff. Each inductee receives a commemorative Hall of Fame medallion.

“Many volunteers have a tradition of 4-H in their family or were 4-H members themselves,” Barnard says. “More and more, though, adults brand new to the 4-H experience are seeing the value of the life skills development program and volunteering for the first time.”

Illinois 4-H programs reach nearly 200,000 youth each year through 4-H clubs, camps, educational programs, workshops, and conferences held in communities, schools, parks, and homes across Illinois. In total, more than 15,000 volunteers fill key leadership and mentoring roles.

To volunteer in your community, one may request information from the local Extension office. “There is a place for everyone in 4-H, whether you have an hour or a lifetime to give,” Barnard says.

The 2020 Hall of fame winners include: Leon Obert, Adams County; Carmen Birk-Martin, Alexander County; Cathy Simmonds, Bond County;  Robert (Bob) Walberg, Boone County; Becky Erbsen, Carroll County; Todd Burrus, Cass County; Andy Hughes, Champaign County; Jessie Crews, Clark County; Cathy Schnepper, Clay County; Michelle Wegmann, Clinton County; Mark Cox, Coles County; and the late Madeline Harris Crawford County; Josh Milliman, Cumberland County; William Kuhn, DeKalb County; Megan Barth, Dewitt County; Dr. Pennie Crinion, DuPage County; Meggan Cash, Edgar County; Don W. St Ledger, Edwards County; Tom and Bernie Haarmann, Effingham County; Connie Loschen, Ford County; Teresa and Shawn Lane, Fulton County; Donna Cockream, Grundy County; Deanna Erwin, Hamilton County; Teresa Guymon, Hancock County; Dan and Melinda Horton, Henderson County; and Larry Haigh, Iroquois County; Randy Bierman, Jasper County; Sandra (Sandy) Bechtold, Jersey County; Helen Muto, Jo Daviess County; Georgia Vinson, Johnson County; Bonnie Kararo, Kane County; Gary Kohl, Kankakee County; Jodi Brummel, Kendall County; Roger (Pete) Holmes, Knox County; Lisa Kleber, Lake County; Kerry Hill, Lawrence County; Nancy Wadsworth, Lee County; Gail and the late Ellen Rapp, Livingston County; Stacie Skelton, Logan County;  Rick Spencer, Macoupin County; and Lynn Weis, Madison County; Terry Mulvany, Marion County; Carol Breedlove, Mason County; Tammie Obermark, Massac County; Sherry Lowderman, McDonough County; Robert (Bob) Gallagher, McHenry County; Sid Parks, McLean County; Jeffrey (Jeff) Sampson, Menard County; Brenda Close, Mercer County; Pam Jacobs, Monroe County; the late Phil Crouch, Montgomery County; Jay Harris, Morgan County; Erik Stollard, Moultrie County; Cheryl Price, Ogle County; and Martha Eberley, Peoria County; Dr. Nathan Pyatt, Piatt County; Marianne Adams, Pike County; Julie Barger, Pope County; Flora Helman, Pulaski County; Jenny Hancock, Richland County; Keith Gorham, Rock Island County; Daniel (Danny) Evans, Saline County; the late Woody Woodruff, Sangamon County; Sandy Brix, Shelby County; Denise Godfrey, St. Clair County; Bill Million, State 4-H; Deb Stocker, State 4-H; the late Sheri Seibold, State 4-H; Stephanie Mitchell, Stephenson County; Dean Beutel, Tazewell County; and Jim and Cindy Walker, Union County; Nancy Boose, Vermilion County; Gill Sanders, Wabash County; Robin Corzatt, Warren County; Dustin Unverfehrt, Washington County; Phyllis Hilliard Wilks, Wayne County; Liz Masterson, White County; Karen Temple, Whiteside County; Nancy Kuhajda, Will County;  Don Elliott, Williamson County; Kathy Palmer, Winnebago County; and Terri Kuebler, Woodford County.

“The Foundation provides avenues to support the work of Illinois 4-H by accepting financial gifts specifically directed to the program you wish to support,” Barnard said. “Estate planning services are available to those wishing to continue their 4-H legacy.”

The Illinois 4-H Foundation raises private funds that are invested in Illinois 4-H programs that provide meaningful, positive development experiences for Illinois youth to develop leadership, citizenship, and life skills. To learn more, visit:


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.