Club of year

Outstanding 4-H Club of the Year, Midway Marvels 4-H Club. Pictured from left to right: Connor Sherman, Elizabeth Russo (4-H Leader), Doris Russo, Campbell Russo, Amelia Runne, Sowmya Monroe, Ryan Sherman, Tim Russo, Stacy Cwiklo (4-H Program Coordinator), Isabel Runne and Marlene Strohman (4-H Leader).

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Senior of year

Outstanding Sr. 4-H Member Sowmya Monroe, Midway Marvels 4-H Club, receives award from Tim Russo, Winnebago County 4-H & Extension Foundation.

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Junior of year

Outstanding Jr. 4-H Member Christiana Gewargis, Owen Blue Bonnets 4-H Club, receives award from Tim Russo, Winnebago County 4-H & Extension Foundation.

ROCKFORD, Ill.  On Nov. 18, University of Illinois Extension hosted a special ceremony at Klehm Arboretum in Rockford to recognize local 4-H award winners and volunteers for their accomplishments over the past year.

Winners selected based on project work, activity participation and leadership/community service accomplishments. This year’s top award winners included Sowmya Monroe, named Outstanding Sr. 4-H Member, and Christiana Gewargis who was the Outstanding Jr. Member. The Club of the Year award went to Midway Marvels 4-H Club, guided by the leadership of Elizabeth Russo and Marlene Strohman. The Winnebago County 4-H & Extension Foundation sponsored these awards.

The 4-H Experience Award system offers recognition to members who are involved in club, county, multi-county, regional, state, national and international activities. Recognition based on the number of experiences in each of the following areas: Participation, Community Service, Leadership and Project Learning.

Bronze medallion award winners included Ella Anderson, Carter Anderson, Gabrielle Baumgardner, Eloise Franklin, Claire Hopkins, Amelia McCray-Grotto and Campbell Russo. Christiana Gewargis, Nathan Lyons, Kielyn Jackson-Ramos, Leo Ramos, Sadie Ramos, Doris Russo and Gavin Roush all received Silver medallions. Gold medallion winners were Sowmya Monroe and Quinten Roush. Krzysztof Gajda received the Emerald Award in Leadership.

Awards for Outstanding Treasurer – Rebecca Baird, New England Banner 4-H Club and Outstanding Secretary – Zizi von Vittinghoff, Screw City Scholars 4-H Club.

A special presentation given by Sowmya Monroe, Midway Marvels 4-H Club, highlighted her recent trip to Japan through the 4-H International Exchange program. In this program, youth have opportunities to travel internationally for 4-6 weeks in the summer. Countries to explore include Norway, Finland, South Korea, Japan and Costa Rica.

There are many adult volunteers in this program that lend their leadership and mentoring skills to our youth by working with them in their clubs, at project workshops and also at the fair. “These volunteers use positive youth development to help teach and guide these youth in learning crucial life skills needed to become responsible members of the community” states Stacy Cwiklo, 4-H Program Coordinator, University of Illinois Extension. “We wish to extend our appreciation to all those adult leaders who make this program a success!”

4-H is the youth development program of University of Illinois Extension. Membership is open to all youth ages 5-18 and the new 4-H year is just underway. Now is a perfect time to get your youth involved in the 4-H program. Learn more by calling the Winnebago Extension office (815) 986-4357 or visiting  https://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw/.

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