4-H leaders honor Outstanding Volunteer 2021

Ronda Wertman
Special to the News Tribune
Melanie Hesse, leader of the Gate 4-H Club, was recognized by Mineral County 4-H recently as its Outstanding Volunteer Leader.

KEYSER - The success of Mineral County’s 4-H program would not be possible without the leaders who volunteer their time and talents to work with members at the local club level.

Members and families recently celebrated these volunteers, including the outstanding volunteer and those reaching milestones in the 4-H program.

A volunteer with the Gate 4-H Club for 14 years, Melanie Hesse is this year’s Outstanding 4-H Leader.

“As the organizational club leader in 2020-21, she provided excellent leadership with the club facilitating Zoom club meetings with members. These online meetings were active and engaging, helping youths to stay connected during the COVID pandemic,” said Mineral County Extension agent Margaret Miltenberger.

“Thanks to Melanie’s leadership, the Gate 4-H Club had 100%  project completion with all members exhibiting projects at the Mineral County Fair in June.”

At the county level, Hesse served as vice president of the 4-H Leaders Association, facilitating online meetings and providing leadership for various county activities including the 4-H food booth at the Mineral County Fair.

“To provide youths with a summer camp experience, Melanie coordinated a successful arts day camp in June with volunteers Wendi Getz and Amanda Bogdan. To wrap up the 4-H summer, Melanie volunteered her time to be a camp counselor with Mineral County’s POD Camp at Jackson’s Mill in July,” Miltenberger said.

“Melanie has many talents, but lending her beautiful voice and talent for remembering all songs 4-H brings so much to the Mineral County 4-H camping experience. Mineral County 4-H appreciates you!”

Joyce Turner (left) and Betsy Turner were recognized recently for 25 years of volunteer service to the Mineral County 4-H program.

 “4-H volunteers are the heart of the 4-H program,” said Mineral County 4-H Leaders Association president Rusty Jernell as he explained that “volunteers are recognized when we begin our first year of service with a certificate. Every five years we receive a pin and certificate to recognize years of volunteer service with the 4-H program in Mineral County.

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Recognized as first-year leaders were: Derek Beverlin, Gregory Fertig, John Bittinger, Dawn Fuller, Camryn Blacka, Andrew Johnson, Alisha Bowman, Jessica Johnson, Oshwyn Braithwaite, Katie Miltenberger, Beth Livengood, Sarah Sions, Orianna Dean and Hannah Wingler.

Earning the five-year silver clover were: Ashley Bernier, Marsha Hagner, Julie Burns, Steven Kimble, II, Jami Cox, Abby Miller Duckworth, Krisinda Heavener and     Erin Ravenscroft.

Celebrating 10 years with the gold clover are: Larry Conrad, Ginny Conrad and Regina Pancake.

Amanda Bogdan and Eric Iser were recognized with the 15- year clover, and reaching the 25-year mark with the emerald clover were Susan Bosley, Betsy Green, Vera Page, Jeff Turner and Joyce Turner.

Peyton and Lisa Umstot (center) were recently recognized as Friends of 4-H. They are shown with 4-H Leaders Association president Rusty Jernell (left) and Mineral County Extension agent Margaret Miltenberger (right).

So many people give of themselves to make the 4-H program possible and this year Toni Quesenberry presented the annual Friends of 4-H Award recognizing this commitment to the 4-Hers.

“The Umstots made their property available for use during this year’s outdoor camp at Camp Minco. While we weren’t able to cross Patterson Creek to go fishing in their conservation dam, the 4-Hers had a great time fishing and swimming in the creek,” said Quesenberry as she recognized Peyton and Lisa Umstot.

“This was not the first time the Umstots have hosted 4-H groups. In fact they have made the fishing class possible during county 4-H camp for 25-plus years. Their ongoing support of the 4-H program is very much appreciated,” she concluded.