The Valdosta Daily Times
Family members, friends and local officials gathered Thursday night for the annual 4-H banquet, where 4-H’ers were presented with awards for their year’s worth of hard work.
The awards opened with words of celebration and encouragement from members of the County Council Board of Directors, followed by a dinner and video presentation. During the special recognition portion of the event, Laura Walton, 4-H extension agent, shared her thoughts.
“Tonight we are here to celebrate the young people who are learning to lead us forward to a brighter tomorrow. We are all individuals with different talents and interests; however, when you combine those talents, we are able to make the best. Together, we are a team,” said Walton.
She continued, “The 4-H’ers tonight are dedicated to the mission of Georgia 4-H, which is to develop leadership, citizenship and life skills through a broad avenue of competitions, projects, conferences and other educational events. They have worked hard and we are excited to honor them tonight for all they have accomplished.”
The first recognition of the night went to the Project Achievement winners. These winners devoted more than 1,030 hours, 157 activities and 50 events teaching others about their projects in the country and state. These winners were Alexis Carmicheal, Garret Garland, Emily Grondahl, Savannah Stacks, Diamond Woods, Blake Allen, Gabriel Wood, Thadrick Heaney, Arielle Hooks, Tamia Pena, Camilla Summerford and Hope Weisbrod.
The next recognition was given to the Cotton Bowl and consumer judging participants. They were Blake Allen, Ian Bennett, Emily Grondahi, Camilla Summerford and Perry Summerford.
Challenge Bowl participants were then recognized. Those students were Emily Grondahl, Thadrick Heaney, Kessiny Neal and Camilla Summerford.
Judging teams were the next to be recognized. The wildlife judging team consisted of Jordan Fileds, Michaela Fontaine, Garret Garland, Thadrick Heaney, Brooke Lee, Ralph Philor, Kathryn Plumb, Camilla Summerford and Perry Summerford. Poultry judging team participants were Blake Allen, Dakaria Chapman, Pamela Dunblazier, Michaela Fontaine, Camilla Summerford, Diamond Wallace and Gabe Woods.
Next to be recognized during the banquet were the livestock show participants. Those students were Tripp Cothron, Easton Dean, Ethan Garnto, Jaden Hallman, Skyler Howell, Mackensie Killgore, Blaike Lowery, Chance Lucas, Timothy Lucas, Megan McDonald, Madison McDonald, Kade Parsons, Conner Parsons, McCage Pruitt, Conner Sherouse and Chason Tillman.
Levi and Maisie Rowland were the next to be honored for their participation in the Georgia National Livestock Competition.
Ham and egg show participants were then honored. They were Arriyon Hope, Tyreshia Matthis, Shaharia McConnenend, Onesna Johnson, Marie Philips, Caleb Edwards, Jaquon Battle, Abbie Philips, J.R. McCoggle, Hailey Foster, Robin McCoggle, Alyssa Phillips, Arielle Hooks, Diamond Wallace, Charlie Flannigan, Ziyoniah Williams, Aaliya Clemons, Logan Clemons, O’Mar Lucas, Joshua Willias, Larry Brown and Sammie Dart.
Jim Barker, archery club coach, presented the archery awards. These awards went to: Cayden Avera, Brandon Barker, Katie Barker, Preston Barker, Robbie Beeland, Ian Bennett, Sam Bennett, Ben Bradford, Sarah Brooks, Savanna Burks, Connor Callahan, Mark Canada, Sarah Cole, Christopher Cook, Dakota Cook, Tyler Cook, Braydon Cope, Jon Cornwell, Ben Cowart, Brandon Dean, Dalton Faircloth, Trevor Ford, Zachary Gay, Tate Green Thadrick Heaney, Levi Herring, Caitlyn Lane, Ariel Leadbetter, Shawn Lucas, John Lupinek, Rebecca Lupinek, Lawton Lyons, Lyndsey McLeod, Daniel O’Conner, Dawson Peek, Aaron Perry, Justin Ridley, Warren Roark, Evan Seago, Seth Smith, Andrew Spell, Shaw Wacter, Peter Wetherington, Hunter Whatley, Dylan White, Autumn Wibright, Alex Wilson, Emily Wilson and Ginny Wilson.
Next were Jeffery Abbott, Luke Abbott, Aaron Cooper, Hunter Corbett, Chance Hingson, Chandler Kudyk, Taylor McCullough, Spencer McQuaig, Cody Melligan, Jeffery Miley, Samantha Stalvey, Jackson Sumner, Bryer White, Jess Wisenbaker and Joey Wisenbaker.
Special awards were presented to students and volunteers whose hard work and dedication to 4-H has not only helped local students, but also the community.
Camilla Summerford was the first to be recognized for her President’s Volunteer Service Award. She received the honor for performing more than 90 hours of service. She was a gold service award winner.
Camilla Summerford, Perry Summerford and Garrett Garland were then recognized for their Leadership in Action awards. Camilla placed in first at the district level and went on to compete at the state level for her hard work educating the community about storm drain awareness and pollution prevention. Perry and Garrett have also been working hard to help the community. Perry began a peanut butter collection that collected 344 pounds of peanut butter to donate in sack lunches to those in need. Garrett began a donation collecting magazines to give to patients at the Pearlman Cancer Center as they were going through treatments.
Thanks to her hard work and dedication, Camilla Summerford was also named a Master 4-H member. Camilla was a state winner in her environmental sciences project, mastered the Dean’s Award project and also participated in many other 4-H activities and projects.
The 2013 Willene Web 4-H Leader of the Year was the next to be named. This year’s Leader of the Year was Ashleigh Stevens. Ashleigh has been a committed 4-H volunteer since graduating from Lowndes High School. She coached the Consumer Judging team, helped prepare youth for district project achievement, is president of the volunteer board and helps coordinate the county council board.
The awards ceremony ended fittingly with all of the attendees reciting the 4-H pledge: “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.”