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4-H'ers celebrate with recognition, awards ceremony

Monday, November 8, 2010

Grace Aker, the winner of the 4-H spirit Award poses with the sponsor of the award, Scott Herrick of Bittles and Hurt Funeral Home. Banner Graphic/JOSH GARVEY
GREENCASTLE -- On Saturday night the Putnam County Fairgrounds Community Building was running out of chairs at the 4-H Recognition Program.

The program is an award ceremony honoring achievement in a variety of categories. There were close to 50 categories that received some sort of recognition during the hour-long ceremony.

Mark Evans, the county extension director 4-H youth educator, said this event represents the end of the calendar year for 4-H, and that this event makes for a nice capstone to the year for children who have participated in different aspects of 4-H.

"These awards kind of top off the accomplishments for them for the year of all the projects and work they've done through the year," Evans said.

The Spirit of 4-H Award, which Evans called the organization's highest honor, went to Grace Aker, who is currently a freshman at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology majoring in mechanical engineering.

Aker said she was glad she lived in a county where 4-H was so important to the community.

"It really means a lot to me because 4-H has always been a big part of my life and my family," Aker said. "We're very much centered around 4-H and it's just been a great experience for me for leadership skills and I've learned so much from it."

Aker was involved in a number of different 4-H projects including forestry, entomology, floriculture, pigs and goats. She said her favorite project was floriculture.

"My grandma was really big into gardening, and I think I got that gene passed down to me," Aker said.

Evans talked about the dedication that kids have to 4-H in Putnam County. He said that 92 percent of the kids involved in the group completed at least one project this year.

"I know a lot of counties that wish they had 75 percent," Evans said.

Evans said even though 4-H stresses children learning, awards are a nice addition to that.

"4-H is focused more on learning than on ribbons as far as accomplishments go, but everybody likes a ribbon or trophy, too," he said.

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I am so pleased Grace has been a wonderful roll model and upheld the honor of 4H I am so Glad Mark got it right this year. I hope in the future it will stay that way. Last year 2 very high achievement 4h's were overlooked for thier hard work in 10 years because he failed to look past the office and realy get to know the 4Hers or ask since he was a new comer. Well like you said it is the highest honor and then to be dicarded was a slap in the face. Congradulations to Grace and her family. Great Job Well done

-- Posted by gms kitchen on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 1:23 PM

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