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State’s highest award presented to 4-H members

Sunday, December 11, 2016
Photo of State 4-H Award Winners

Twenty 4-H members from across the state were honored for their lifetime 4-H achievements. The Illinois State 4-H Award recognizes exemplary work in five major areas, including communications, community service, leadership, personal growth and project mastery. The winners were recognized during a ceremony held Nov. 19 in Champaign.

Winners received either a trip to National 4-H Congress, $1,000 toward the cost of another national 4-H event, or a $1,000 college scholarship as their prize. The award is supported through gifts to the Illinois 4-H Foundation by donors, including the Illinois Farm Bureau, Durbin Veterinary Clinic, Ruthann Bauroth, Jennifer Cowsert, Peter Johnson, Susan Moore, Donna Mueller, Keith Parr, Phyllis Ruwe, Ryan Ruwe, Elizabeth Schnitzler, James Shinn, Kenneth Smith, Rod Stoll, and Gerald Theile. Illinois 4-H Foundation Board Members Barbara Clark and Jan Sibley made the presentations of prizes to the winners.

In the area of Communications, the winners were Parker Karrick of Marion County and Shelby Ledbetter of Rock Island County. In the area of Community Service, the winners were Kaitlyn Ball of Cook County, Kaley Rouse of Stark County and Grace Skelton of Logan County.

In the area of Leadership, the winners were Austin Brockmann of Boone County, Alyssa Garner of Macon County, Clayton Skelton of Logan County, Erin Stichter of Whiteside County, and Clare VanSpeybroeck of Rock Island County. 

Winners in the Personal Growth area were James Martin of Kendall County and Isabella Warmack of Grundy County. In the area of Project Mastery, the winners were Josephine Hubele of White County, David Kloppe of Sangamon County, Devin Koester of JoDaviess County, Zachary Perkins of Kendall County, William Short of McLean County, Julia Taraszewski of Macon County, Eli Tobin of McLean County, and Courtney Wiedenmann of Mercer County.

Previous winners who continue to excel in their previous award area were presented 4-H Blue Awards. Those winners include Drew Groezinger of JoDaviess County and Katlyn Helton of Logan County.

Parker Karrick is the 16-year-old daughter of Angela and Leslie Britt of Patoka. She is a 9-year member of the Patoka Panthers 4-H Club and the county crochet special interest club. She serves on the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team.

Shelby Ledbetter is the 18-year-old daughter of Noelle and Jim Ledbetter of Rock Island. She is in her eighth year as a 4-H member. She is a member of the Team Dauntless 4-H Club and serves as a Rock Island County Hunger Ambassador. She is a 4-H Teen Teacher where she uses her communication skills to teach younger youth. She serves on the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team.

Kaitlyn Ball is the 19-year-old daughter of Sharon Ball of Arlington Heights. She completed seven years as a 4-H member in the Clever Clovers 4-H Club. Kaitlyn organized a community service project which sewed 100 dresses for girls in Africa.

Kaley Rouse is the 18-year-old daughter of Tami Rouse of Toulon. She is a 10-year member of the Stark County Century Clovers 4-H Club where she focuses her efforts on community service projects which benefit the nursing home, veteran groups, local firemen, Children’s Hospital of Illinois and St. Jude.

Grace Skelton is the 16-year-old daughter of Stacie and Rusty Skelton of Middletown. She is an 8-year member of the Middletown 4-Hers and was a 4-H Teen Teacher for the Jr. Chef nutrition program.

Austin Brockmann is the 17-year-old son of Vicky and Gary Brockmann of Garden Prairie where he is a 9-year member of the County Clovers 4-H Club.

Alyssa Garner is the 18-year-old daughter of Joy Tucker and Keith Garner, both of Maroa. She is in her fourth year as a member of the Maroa Livestock Club and the 4-H Marketing Club. She is a youth leader for the local Cloverbud club.

Clayton Skelton is the 16-year-old son of Stacie and Rusty Skelton of Middletown. He is a 9-year member of the Middletown 4-Hers. He has served as camp counselor and was on the Illini Summer Academies planning committee.

Erin Stichter is the 17-year-old daughter of Casey and Brandon Stichter of Erie. She is in her 10th year as a member of the Fenton Wizards 4-H Club. She serves as a role model to young campers.

Clare VanSpeybroeck is the 15-year-old daughter of Nora and John VanSpeybroeck of Rock Island. For four years, she has concentrated her 4-H work in the area of hunger awareness and serves as a Rock Island Teen Hunger Ambassador.

James Martin is the 17-year-old son of Charlyn and Steve Martin of Newark. He is a 9-year member of the Martin Family 4-H Club and has served as president of the Kendall County 4-H Federation where he stressed teamwork and responsibility.

Isabella Warmack is the 17-year-old daughter of Theodora Warmack of Marseilles. She is a 10-year member of the Home Cool Kids 4-H Club and a junior leader for Kendall County.  

Josephine Hubele is the 18-year-old daughter of Rachelle and John Hubele of Carmi where she is entering her 10th year of membership in the Mad Hatters 4-H Club. She actively assists as a 4-H Teen Teacher for the Cloverbud club and was the youth leader of a knitting 4-H club.

David Kloppe is the 17-year-old son of Kathy and Dale Kloppe of New Berlin. He is a 10-year member of the West Side 4-H Club, as well as a member of the Abe Lincoln 4-H Shooters Club. His project work focuses on the Poultry project

Devin Koester is the 16-year-old son of Karen Koester of Elizabeth. He is a 9-year member of the Top Notchers 4-H Club where his project work focused on the Health project.

Zachary Perkins is the 17-year-old son of Tina and Michael Perkins of Millbrook. He is a 10-year member of the Millbrook Mighty Ones 4-H Club. His award mastery was in the Swine project.  

William Short is the 16-year-old son of Janet and Doug Short of Normal where he is a 9-year member of the Linden Lead’em 4-H Club, as well as member of Team Metal Cow Robotics 4-H Club. He received the award for his work in the Robotics and Computer project areas.

Julia Taraszewski is the 18-year-old daughter of Stephanie Taraszewski of Decatur. She is entering her 11th year of 4-H and is a member of the Homesteaders 4-H Club, as well as the Cross Fire Archers Alley Club. Her award celebrates her work in Animal Science.

Eli Tobin is the 18-year-old son of Tracy and Brian Tobin of Lexington where he is in his ninth year as a member of the Linden Lead’em 4-H Club. His award focused on his work in the Horticulture project.

Courtney Wiedenmann is the 18-year-old daughter of Barb and Jeff Wiedenmann of Coal Valley. She is entering her 11th year as a member of the Sherrard 4-H Club and a member of the horse bowl and Hippology clubs.

Drew Groezinger is the 18-year-old son of Pennie and Daryl Groezinger of Stockton. He is entering his 11th year as a member of the Chelsea Busy Bees 4-H Club. He was a member of the Illinois 4-H Poultry Judging Team.

Katlyn Helton is the 17-year-old daughter of Kristen and Ron Helton of Middletown. She is a 10-year member of the Middletown 4-Hers and is a 4-H Teen Teacher for the county’s Cloverbud camp and the Jr. Chef nutrition program.

Illinois STATE 4-H AWARD: Twenty 4-H members from across the state were honored for their lifetime 4-H achievements. The Illinois 4-H Award recognizes exemplary work in five major areas, including communications, community service, leadership, personal growth and project mastery. The winners were recognized during a ceremony held Nov. 19 in Champaign. Pictured (front, left to right) are Erin Stichter, Grace Skelton, Shelby Ledbetter, and Parker Karrick; (middle) Eli Tobin, Courtney Wiedenmann, Alyssa Garner, Isabella Warmack, Clayton Skelton, Kaley Rouse, and James Martin; and (back) Devin Koester, Josephine Hubele, Clare VanSpeybroeck, David Kloppe, Zachary Perkins, and William Short. Not pictured is Kaitlyn Ball, Austin Brockmann, and Julia Taraszewski.