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4-H honors members, partners
Youth program reflects on year of successes
Mandy Holm, president of the 4-H Senior Council, welcomes attendees to the 4-H Awards Ceremony on Monday night. - photo by Autumn McBride

Four-leaf clovers don’t always stand for good luck.

At the Forsyth County 4-H awards program, the green clovers decorating the walls Forsyth Central High School’s cafeteria stood for skills, achievement and self-confidence.

Each one had a club member’s name and his or her biggest accomplishment of the year.

The local 4-H program, overseen by the Forsyth County Extension Office, honored its members and partners Monday night for the accomplishments of the 2009-10 year.

4-H Club is a national organization. But to the various speakers during the ceremony, it is much more than a club.

“Without 4-H, I would totally be a different person than I am today. I am Allie LeCave, and I am Georgia 4-H,” said the county council’s new president, repeating the night’s mantra.

Several members received awards for group participation or district project achievement honors, but a few garnered some special recognition.

Scot Hansard presented $50 savings bonds to six members for their involvement: Madison Loewe, Kelli Mitchell, Holly Reeves, Rosie Reeves, Gabrielle Torre and Hailey Yarbrough.

Mitchell, a West Forsyth High School senior, also won two scholarship awards: L.E.A.D., for her leadership; and Scot Born, for her volunteer work.

Mary Singleton, a freshman at Truett-McConnell College, received the Walter Rucker scholarship for achievement, including mastering twice in district project achievement and placing second this past year.

Local partners were also recognized for helping the youth organization.

Dave Horton, administrator of the Cumming Fairgrounds, received the Friend of 4-H award for giving the club use of the fairgrounds livestock barn and a place to bring canned and baked goods to the annual Cumming Country Fair & Festival, which opens Thursday.

“He’s always great to work with, so supportive and helpful,” county extension agent Carol Propes said. “Dave Horton, you’re a friend of 4-H.”

Propes, who worked part time since retiring last spring, received a surprise thanks from Emily Chow, the county’s 4-H program assistant.

Chow shared examples of Propes’ dedication, including sleeping on the floor at Zoo Atlanta so campers could get the night experience.

“She will do everything possible to ensure the success of her 4-H’ers,” Chow said. “We all love you, we will all miss you, and we’ll all see you at camp again next summer.”

Propes said the best part of her 29 years working with 4-H has been watching kids go from being “shy fifth-graders to self-confident 12th-graders.”

The pride of the members was apparent as they proclaimed “I am Georgia 4-H,” and took their clovers off the cafeteria walls as mementos of the year’s achievements.