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Monday, June 17, 2024

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4-H Hosts Unique Virtual Awards Ceremony

Moving Up Ceremony screenshot.jpg

By Press Release

COURT HOUSE – The Cape May County 4-H Youth Development Program held its annual awards ceremony, the Clovers, to celebrate the 2019-2020 accomplishments of their youth members and adult club leaders Jan. 22. 
However, due to the continuing pandemic and the need for social distancing, the ceremony looked a little different this year. 
According to a release, instead of taking place on the 4-H Fairgrounds with 4-H members and their families celebrating in one place, this year’s ceremony was held virtually on Zoom.
Linda Horner, 4-H Program coordinator, stated, “For the past year, we had to think outside the box to continue to provide worthwhile programs for our members and allow them to meet, socialize, and learn with each other even though we couldn’t gather in person, so virtual programs became our new normal for now.” 
Horner added, “Even though 4-H programs have been conducted differently, we thought it was even more important at this time to celebrate the accomplishments of our 4-H members and acknowledge the extraordinary challenges that everyone faced this past year.”
One Hundred Sixty-Six 4-H members and leaders were recognized during the 4-H Clovers Award Ceremony, with a total of 227 awards presented. At a minimum, each 4-H member who participated in an activity or event received an achievement pin or a certificate.
Outstanding 4-H Members Samantha Downes, Elise Heim, Autumn Richards and Eddie Hoover, along with Junior 4-H Equestrian of the Year Caitlin Schaffer, served as emcees for this special awards ceremony. 4-H members were mailed invitations encouraging them to wear formal attire to the virtual event. 
One of the hosts, Eddie Hoover, even wore a tuxedo to the ceremony. 
Also, because 4-H members couldn’t walk up on stage to receive their awards in person, medals, pins and certificates were sent to each 4-H member before the event, with instructions to not open the envelope until their names were called. Once their name was announced, they opened their envelope to find each award inside.
Additionally, each 4-H member who attended the ceremony was hand-delivered a special clover cookie baked by the Kitchen Phanatics 4-H Club.
Among 4-H youth who were honored during the program were the six Cloverbuds, who “moved up” to fourth grade and regular 4-H membership. These members included Ryan Allay, Lola Barry, Leslie Caprioni, Sophia Dobosz, Heavenly Lysinger, and Logan Moore.
The following regular 4-H members who earned prestigious county medals for excellence this year included Rebecca Arcuri: Community Service-1st Year, Breitton Bird: Horse-1st Year, Nora Conover: Community Service-1st Year and Horse- 1st Year, Kathleen DeGenova: Horse-3rd Year and Leadership- 1st Year, Samantha Downes: Community Service-1st Year and Leadership- 2nd Year, Rodrigo Encinas: Personal Development-1st Year, Emma Gotwols: Personal Development-1st Year and Cavy-1st Year, Elise Heim: Leadership-1st Year, Sophia Hess: Horse- 1st Year, Eddie Hoover: Fine Art-1st Year; STEM-1st Year; Lamp of Knowledge-1st Year and Community Service-1st Year, Kelly Hunter: Leadership-1st Year, Sarah McAlister: Horse-1st Year, Rainbow McAtee: Herpetology-1st Year, Lauren Miller: Lamp of Knowledge-1st Year, Autumn Richards: Mentorship-1st Year; Community Service-1st Year and Food and Nutrition- 1st Year, Caitlyn Schaffer: Horse-1st Year, Caileigh Schalick: Leadership-1st Year, Casey Schwert: Personal Development-1st Year, Anton Shupiko: Money Management-1st Year, Maya Wenger: Personal Development-1st Year, and Amelia Worthington: Leadership-1st Year.
Adult volunteers made contributions of their time and expertise throughout the year by leading 4-H clubs, judging contests, caring for the 4-H fairgrounds, running the 4-H Fair, and of course, this year, providing virtual programs and meetings for 4-H members. The following club leaders were acknowledged with special pins and certificates for having served either one, five, 10, 15 or 20 years. First-year recipients were Kim Bachman, Hailey Murdock, Stephen Schaffer, Dana Barry, Danielle Schneider, Micah Wenker, and Dan Worthington. Fifth-year honorees included Jessica Anaya, Ben Anaya, Jennifer DeGenova, Kerry Raymond, and Julianne Schalick. The 10-year recipient was Marcie Hughes, and Phyllis Day received an award for 20 years of service.
Horner concluded, “Without the dedication of our adult volunteers, the 4-H program would not be possible. Because of their contributions to the program, we were able to overcome the obstacles of the past year and provide programming and incentives that culminated with this award ceremony. I am very proud of the Cape May County 4-H community.”

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