URBANA, Ill. – Illinois 4-H volunteers empower and prepare youth for success. The program relies on more than 15,000 volunteers to fill key leadership and mentoring roles. Longtime volunteers and former staff members were recently honored by the Illinois 4-H Foundation for their dedication to University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development program.

Recently, 71 individuals received the Foundation Hall of Fame Award during a virtual ceremony.  Four of the honorees were honored posthumously.

The Illinois 4-H Foundation established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2005 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers, and former 4-H staff. Those inducted have a record of exemplary service to 4-H or outstanding career and community achievement and were nominated 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.

“These volunteers are a model of 4-H values,” says Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation executive director. “All of our volunteers are valuable, but this award honors those that go above and beyond. These are volunteers that helped shape not only individuals, but generations of 4-H members. 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."

Illinois 4-H programs reach nearly 120,000 youth each year through 4-H clubs, camps, educational programs, workshops, and conferences held in communities, schools, parks, and homes across Illinois. Volunteers fill key leadership and mentoring roles throughout the state.

“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. 4-H has volunteer opportunities that fit such a wide variety of time, skills, and talents.”

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 2021 Hall of Fame winners include:

Nicole Schaffnit, Adams County; the late Ron Ramos, Boone County; Gail Gallaher, Brown County; Jill Frueh, Bureau County; Darci Francque, Carrol County; Loretta Stoerger, Champaign County; Wm. Lee Meteer, Christian County; Mike Smallwood, Clark County; Kelly Elias, Clinton County; Debbie Tedford, Crawford County; Lori Walk and the late Philip Walk, Cumberland County; Sherry Young, Dewitt County; Theresa Angela Carso, Du Page County; Penny Peterson, Edgar County; Derra Williams, Edwards County; Larry and JoAnn Ring, Effingham County; Leanne Wright, Ford County; Thomas Newbury, Franklin County; and Bob and Velynna Spangler, Fulton County;

Deborah Campbell, Greene County; Theodora Warmack, Grundy County; Cinda K. Brodie, Hancock County; Karen Elaine Davis, Henderson County; Roxanne Reeves Adsit, Iroquois County; Nick and Jody Milliman, Jasper County; Carla S. Chesnek, Jefferson County; Tom and Sandy Moore, Jersey County; Valerie Brudi, Jo Daviess County; Alicia Goines, Johnson County; Kimberly Halverson, Kane County; Jeff Nakaerts, Kendall County; Jeanne A. Gardner, Knox County; Heather Arbet, La Salle County; Jane Inyart, Lawrence County; Christine R. Klein, Lee County; Roberta M. Maubach, Livingston County; John Fulton, Logan, Menard, and Sangamon Counties; Karen King, Macoupin County; Margaret Weis, Madison County; Greg Branch, Marion County; and Lisa M. Palm, Marshall County;

Marilyn Blakeley, Mason County; Brandy Meadows, Massac County; Walter Lewis, McDonough County; Richanne Nicolai, McHenry County; Linda Faye White, Mclean County; Jim Mayhew, Mercer County; Hank Marquardt, Monroe County; Clem and Doris Huber, Montgomery County; Vickie L. Smith, Ogle County; the late Bob Forney, Peoria County; Kristi Pyatt, Piatt County; Christine Hogendobler, Pulaski County; Melinda Simpson, Rock Island County; Jessica Erickson, Saint Clair County; Kelly Westlake, Schuyler County; Annette Sims, Shelby County; Madonna Weese, State 4-H, Kristi Krahmer, Stephenson County; the late Kathy Meier, Tazewell County; Karen Rene Collier, Union County; and Denise Lambert, Vermillion County;

Mike Wilson, Wabash County; Carol Hanson, Warren County; Terry L. Fox, Washington County; Bill and Pam Robins, Wayne County; Mallory Thompson, White County; Nancy Dykstra, Whiteside County; Tim McPherson, Will County; Neva I. Ramos, Winnebago County; and Bill Royer, 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 says. “Gift 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: 4hfoundation.illinois.edu.

For Further Information Contact:

News Source: Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation Executive Director, 217-333-0333
News Writer: Carissa Nelson, 4-H Media Communications Manager, carissa7@illinois.edu

About Illinois 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. 

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.