JAMESTOWN, NY — Cornell Cooperative Extension Chautauqua County’s 4-H Youth Development Program is excited to announce that Tina Walters was honored at a recent Ross Grange meeting with the 2015 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award.
On Monday, May 11, 10 4-H youth members read their winning essays to Grange members and received $50 prizes to go toward their animal projects. Walters had been invited by two members as a special volunteer they wanted to share the night with. The real highlight though was when a surprised Walters was invited up to the front of the room to receive the Grange’s 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award.
Betty Wakefield, program director, read a letter submitted by fellow 4-H Volunteer Marie Warner nominating Walters for the award. Among her many activities, Ms. Walters is the leader for the Levant Live Wires 4-H Club, Committee Chair for the Teen Ambassadors Committee, Coordinator of the 4-H Building at the County Fair, a member of the 4-H Program and Fundraising Committees, and former member of the Rabbit Committee. She has been involved in 4-H for 11 years, ever since her daughter bought their first 4-H show rabbit. The Walters currently keep sheep, rabbits, horses, dogs, and various poultry at their home in Kennedy.
“I enjoy working with 4-H because it’s all about teaching our youth to become leaders amongst their peers and being able to give back to their community. 4-H also teaches our youth necessary life skills such as time management, responsibility and communication.” said Walters.
Her dedication to 4-H, in reality, is really a dedication to the young people and the future of Chautauqua County. For this program year, there are almost 500 youth involved in 4-H activities, with about 200 volunteers teaching, leading clubs, and helping organize events like animal and fashion shows, and the 4-H portion of the County Fair. Programs span an entire year and include much more than just raising an animal for show. Youth have the option of doing many things not related to animals, like woodworking, sewing, recycling, and electronics. Members are also required to complete community service each year. Without volunteers like Ms. Walters, this kind of programming is impossible. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County would like to congratulate Ms. Walters on being honored as the Ross Grange 4-H Volunteer of the Year.