The annual 4-H Volunteer/Leader’s Recognition Banquet was held Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, at St. John’s Methodist Church with around 60 4-H volunteers, leaders, and spouses attending despite the blistering cold weather.

Special recognition was extended to all adult volunteers who support the Youth and 4-H program of Monona County.

Shelby Davis, 4-H County Council member of Mapleton, gave the invocation before a meal of mashed potatoes and gravy, roast beef, and ham prepared by the Beef-n-Brew of Mapleton with corn and assorted desserts furnished by the 4-H County Council.

The 4-H County Council members helped to set up and provided the floor service for the meal. Others on the Council helping were Delayne Hart, Cadence Koenigs, and Paige Wooster of Mapleton; Chris Craig of Danbury; Dena and Lance Nichols and Brenyn and Lauryn Teel of Whiting; Cody Rosburg of Soldier; Chenoa Bowman of Moorhead, and Abby Wessel of Onawa, absent Ruby Phipps.

Delayne Hart of East Monona Explorers 4-H Club and Lauryn Teel of Whiting Badgers 4-H Club were Mistresses of Ceremonies.

Nancy McGrain, County 4-H Youth Coordinator, and Melissa Beermann, County Director, presented the 4-H Clover pins and certificates for years of service.

The Iowa 4-H Foundation and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach provided funds for the purchase of 4-H clover award pins and Certificates.

The five-year clover pin recipient was Andrew Christiansen who has served on Monona County 4-H Youth Committee. There were two 15-year pins, one going to Fran Haack, Clover Kids leader and clothing superintendent, and Laura Neldeberg, past Clover Kids leader, on Extension Council and the 4-H Endowment Board.

One 25-year pin went to Pauline Zima, who has been a 4-H leader and currently Clothing Superintendent. Rick Deen received a 30-year service pin and has been poultry and rabbit superintendent still holding that position. A 35-year service pin went to Sharyl Bruning being a leader of the Mapleton Starspinners and superintendent at the fair.

Nancy and Melissa also presented other special awards, which included the 4-H Alumni, Honorary 4-H Member, 4-H Meritorious Service, and 4-H Leader of the Year Awards.

The 4-H Alumni Award is presented to honor adults who have been 4-H members themselves for their service to 4-H, community leadership, public service, and success in their chosen endeavors. Becky Marcum of Onawa received this award.

Becky was a member of the Castana Cloverines 4-H Club, which later changed to the Castana Wildcats 4-H Club. Becky was involved in 4-H throughout her high school years, taking cattle to fair. She has led the Chemical Look-A-Likes session for Farm Safety Days since 2002. Becky has worked at the FSA office over the past years and retired in December of 2019.

The Honorary 4-H member award is given to an adult who was not a 4-H member, but who has supported and worked with the 4-H program in a significant way. Jeff Pratt of Onawa was honored for this award.

Jeff graduated from Sioux City West and after getting his degree in Police Science, became a policeman in Onawa, then Sheriff, back to Dare Officer, and in 2001 Sheriff, holding that position currently. Jeff has helped with the Farm Safety Days in schools since 2002, leading the session on bicycle and ATV safety.

The 4-H Meritorious Service Award is given to a business or organization that gives support and cooperation to the 4-H program. The Beef-n-Brew of Mapleton received this award. Owner Barb Blake has always supported the 4-H program by giving gift certificates to the various functions that we have including the Silent Auction at fair and the 4-H Leader/Banquet. Deb Neubaum accepted the certificate of appreciation. We look forward to continuing their partnership and friendship in the future.

Every leader in the 4-H program deserves an award, but a special award called “4-H Leader of the Year” is given to recognize a club leader or leaders for dedicated work with their members. This year’s “Leader of the Year” award was given to Fran Haack of Whiting. Fran was not a 4-H member, but has been very involved with 4-H since her children were involved. Fran and husband Bob have two grown children that were in 4-H when younger. Fran and Bob were given the Honorary 4-H Award in 2000, and they were inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame at the State Fair in 2011. Fran was the first Clover Kids leader in Whiting and is currently the Clover leader. She is also leader with her daughter, Heidi, of the Whiting Badgers 4-H Club and Clothing Events superintendent at the fair.

Melissa Beermann did a 2019-2020 candle installation ceremony for new and returning 4-H County Council members.

Entertainment for the night was Sarah Nelson, Woodbury County 4-H’er and State Council member. She told of her adventures going to National 4-H Congress, State Youth Conference, and being on State County Council. Cody Rosburg and Chris Craig of the Monona County 4-H Council also told of their experiences at State 4-H Youth Conference. They all did a great presentation for the crowd on their experiences.

The evening was enjoyed by all and ended with door prizes that were given and donated by the following businesses:

• Onawa & Whiting businesses: Monona County Extension and Outreach; Bamboo Village; Tempted; Teazed Hair Salon; Heidi Allen, Kirby’s, and Buddy’s Tavern.

• Mapleton Businesses: Beef n Brew; Revival; Graceful Boutique; In Control; Fiesta Foods, Hawkeye Bar, Monona County Iron, Rainhail Insurance, Dollar General, Karen Jessen and Nancy McGrain.

• Ute, Soldier, and Moorhead businesses: Ada J’s Steakhouse; Soldier Speedee Stop; Sabor A Mexico; Guys and Gals; and Ute and Soldier Community Banks.

The recognition of these adult 4-H volunteers was made possible by generous contributions from the following: US Bank of Onawa; Security National Bank of Mapleton; First Security Bank, Mapleton; Community Bank Ute, Soldier; United Bank of Iowa, Moorhead, Onawa; and Sloan State Bank, Whiting.

Leaders were given the fruit sheets to be passed to 4-H members to start selling fruit in the county with March 21 delivery, so if you want fruit, contact a 4-H’er or the Monona County Extension Office.

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