By Frank J. Buchman
It was a most festive occasion when 40th years’ helping Morris County 4-H members was celebrated Friday evening at Council Grove.
More than 100 members of the Morris County 4-H Foundation attended the supper program highlighted by 4-H club members’ presentations.
Don Peterson, one of the founders of the Morris County 4-H support group, was in attendance to be recognized by Larry Johnson, president.
Additional founders were Ross Blythe, James Collier, Don McNeal, and Gerald Ridenour. Their family members attended and were acknowledged.
Unable to attend, Dale Ladd, who served as the Morris County agent when the organization incorporated, was credited for his assistance.
Additional attending former trustees introduced were Gloria Auchard, Joanne Gieswein, Tom Moxley, Carolyn Peterson, Jerry Thomas and Larry Wilson
Catered supper was coordinated by trustees Carolyn Andres and Connie Burton with serving assistance provided by the Morris County 4-H Ambassadors and additional 4-H club members.
Program by the 4-H members was introduced by vice president Cynthia Schrader. Featured were pledge of allegiance, Anna Schrader; 4-H pledge, Avery Lee; reading, Justine Lee; demonstrations, Makenzie Downes and Mandy Wainwright; project talk, Parker Stilwell; and vocal solo, Hannah Stilwell.
An update on 4-H was given by Lori Bammerlin, Extension agricultural-4-H agent. There are 119 members of 4-H clubs in Morris County at the present time. The Cloverbuds program, predecessor to 4-H membership, has nine members.
Largest project enrollment is in foods and nutrition with 36 members, followed by shooting sports with 35 members, and photography with 34 enrolled.
Trustees Frank Buchman and Larry Landgren introduced and presented token recognition to 20 donors.
Patron Award — Council Grove Realty, Bill & Brandie Disberger, Charles & Marla Goeckel, Chelsea Richmond, and Sadderock Inc.
Bronze Award – Amanda & DJ Bremer of Council Grove Dairy Queen, John & Kris Collier, Dr. Tom & Diane Jernigan, Leslie M. & Marlene Johnson, Keith & Joann Kahnt, Donna Muller, and Sonic Drive-In of Council Grove.
Silver Award – Frank Buchman Family, Jim & Janice Dike, Debra Dudley of Alspaw Brokerage, Gary & Jody Johnson Family, Nancy Landon Kassebaum, Jan & LoJean Oleen, Marvin & Marsha Tischhauser, and Clyde & Mary Alice Waylan.
During the business session, minutes prepared by secretary Mary Alice Waylan were presented and approved.
Treasurer Larry Landgren’s financial report verified the group’s assistance to Morris County 4-H members.
After serving 21 years as a trustee including 10 years as president, Connie Burton has retired from the board and received an appreciation plaque from Larry Johnson.
Larry Johnson and Valerie Woodall were elected to serve as trustees upon nomination by committee chairman Cynthia Schrader.
Formation of the Morris County 4-H Foundation and its growth in assisting more than 2,250 4-H members to participate in special activities in the past four decades was reviewed by Johnson.
Each banquet attendee was provided a green-sheet fun-test about growth of the foundation in four decades. Johnson gave the test answers throughout the evening.
Supported strictly by member donations, the Morris County 4-H Foundation has provided financial help so more 4-H members could attend camps, leadership seminars, judging competitions and many additional life building opportunities.
“A total of $37,225 has been given in 103 Morris County 4-H Foundation Scholarships to 4-H club members,” Johnson said.
“While the foundation has supported many 4-H activities, the most 4-H club members are given the opportunity to attend Discovery Days, and County 4-H Camp thanks to foundation assistance,” Johnson noted.
Last year, 23 Morris County 4-H members attended county camp at Rock Springs Ranch, one of the largest county contingencies in the state. There were 18 Morris County 4-H members at Discovery Days, formerly known as Kansas 4-H Roundup
“Growth in the Morris County 4-H Foundation assistance has been through annual giving with incentive recognitions. Families often designate memorials to the foundation in honor of their lost loved ones who had fond experiences through the 4-H program,” Johnson pointed out.
“All donations to the Morris County 4-H Foundation remain in the county and are used only for Morris County 4-H Club members working hard ‘To Make the Best Better,’ the 4-H motto,” Johnson added.
Membership in the beginning was $5, with “Lifetime Membership” recognized for those giving a total of $100. Annual membership is now $10.
“There have been more than 500 donations that have totaled $100 or more, with the honor now identified as ‘Patron’ member,” Johnson said.
Eighty-two people have been remembered with memorials to the Morris County 4-H Foundation.
Donations to the foundation are cumulative and recognized annually at the spring membership banquet.