10/15/10 The theme of the 2010 4-H Leader appreciation program, “Volunteers Leading the Way”, could not have been more fitting. Although not all of the leaders being recognized were able to attend the program held on Tuesday night, 263 names of volunteers appeared in the program. Of those, one-fourth has been volunteering as leaders for 20 years or more.

 A special recognition was given to Robert Schultz of West Township for his 50 years of service. Schultz originally started his volunteer service in LaPorte and later moved to the Plymouth area. Although he never participated as a member of 4-H, Schultz made sure all of his children became 10-year 4-H members.

 Among other skills that Schultz shared with the kids he has worked with over the years, he especially enjoyed sharing his knowledge of tractor repair and restoration.

 Schultz, who received a standing ovation by those attending the event, gave credit to other leaders. He said, “I appreciate your enthusiasm for working with kids. I enjoyed it very much.”

 Greg Carswell of Bourbon was named the “Outstanding 4-H Leader”. The recipient is selected each year by members of the 4-H junior leaders. Presenting the honor to Carswell was Trent Pletcher. Carswell expressed his gratitude for the award andfor his fellow leaders saying, “I appreciate all the help I’ve gotten this year. As you know I’ve had some health issues.”

 Herb Newman presented the “Friend of 4-H Award” to the Marshall County Horse Association. The organization has help to fund many of the Marshall County 4-H activities.

 Two 4-H members shared their summer experiences in trips that were made possible by donations. Trent Pletcher showed a slide presentation of what he learned in Poland. During his trip, he stayed with a host family and also interacted with 4-H members from other countries. Lindsey Downs attend the “Citizenship Washington Focus” where she gathered with 30 4-H members from Indiana and many others from several other states.

Both Pletcher and Downs thanked the 4-H leaders for sponsoring their educational experience.

 According to Randy Dickson of the Marshall County 4-H office, the number of members county –wide has reached to approximately 1000. Dickson said they are promoting ways to reach club members and their families with social media. He said, “We have 550 people using the 4-H Facebook.”

Carol Anders Correspondent