By CRISTIN REECE
Helping hands, hard work, happy attitudes and hearts of gold — no, that’s not the what the ‘H’s in 4-H stand for, but those are the common traits between the 10 local 4-H club members honored during the annual Anderson County 4-H end-of-the-year awards banquet held Tuesday at the Palestine Senior Activity Center.
The banquet is held to honor members of local 4-H groups and their accomplishments through the year. The 4-H program is the youth development program of the national and state Cooperative Extension Systems.
Anderson County boasts seven active 4-H Clubs — Neighborhood 4-H, Elkhart 4-H, Dogwood 4-H, Cayuga 4-H, Old Cayuga 4-H, Harmony Broyles Chapel 4-H and Ioni Creek 4-H.
“It was a great night, everyone had a good time,” Anderson County Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Agent Holly Black said. “We had a great year, with lots of support and participation from our members, leaders and the community.”
Award recipients include Gold Star winner Channa Robinson, who was also presented with a Graduating Senior award; Silver Star Award winners Caraline Robinson, Haylee Smith and JB Alexander; Bronze Award winners Chance Harding and Cota Wilburn; I Dare You Award winners Candace McGuire and Justin McGuire; Graduating Senior award winner Breck Alexander; and Rookie of the Year award winner Isabelle Mills.
Deborah Robinson was also presented with the 2013 Leader of the Year award for showing outstanding leadership within the county 4-H program. Anderson County Farm Bureau was awarded the annual Friend of 4-H award for its continuous support of numerous County 4-H activities.
Black detailed some of the 4-Hers achievements during the 2012-13 year during the event.
“Much was accomplished over the 2012-2013 4-H year,” she said during the ceremony. “We had seven 4-H clubs with 126 members and 16 adult leaders. This year, 10 Record Books were completed and nine of them advanced to the District competition. Competing at District with a Record book is a great accomplishment.”
And next year is already shaping up to be as good, if not better, with the formation of a new 4-H group out of Frankston and new programs that would expand members’ experiences in livestock and forestry judging.
Some of the projects, events, camps and contests Anderson County 4-H members participated in during the 2012-13 year include:
• livestock shows in Anderson and Henderson counties, Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, Waco, San Antonio and Tyler, as well as numerous jackpot shows and calf scrambles;
• veterinary science projects, which Black said were new to the 4-H program and allowed members to spend time with professional veterinarians to learn about the field as a career option;
• county and district food shows;
• Texas 4-H Round-Up Workshops and 4K Run;
• Cookies for Thanks project, where they baked and delivered cookies to emergency personnel throughout the county;
• One Day Community Service Project;
• District Leadership Lab;
• YES Camp;
• Teen Retreat;
• State 4-H Round-Up;
• State Photography Training;
• horse clinics; and
• 4-H project workshops.
Council officers for the 2013-14 year are President Chance Harding of Old Cayuga 4-H; 1st Vice President Paige Hatfield of Old Cayuga 4-H; 2nd Vice President Megan Cooper of Elkhart 4-H; Secretary/Treasurer Channa Robinson of Dogwood 4-H; Parliamentarian Deaven Leopold of Dogwood 4-H; and Information Chair Caraline Robinson of Dogwood 4-H.
The program’s adult leaders, including parents, Extension agents and other community members were also recognized as a vital part of the 4-H experience.
“Our 4-H adult leaders are the reason 4-H is getting stronger and better in Anderson County,” Hatfield said during the ceremony. “Creative ideas and determination to see them through is what makes this program work.
“Without their leadership and dedication, we could not function, and we want all leaders, parents, volunteers and supporters to know we appreciate your work and support of 4-H,” she added. “With active and enthusiastic leaders, 4-H activities and events will thrive in the upcoming year.”
Black said the 4-H program would like to give special thanks to the Palestine Senior Activity Center; Heritage Land Bank, represented on Tuesday by Matt Tyler; and Brenda Bing and Candace Stevens, who catered Tuesday’s meal; as well as County Judge Robert Johnston and Sheriff Greg Taylor, who helped present awards.