Volunteers inducted into Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame

Larry and JoAnn Ring

Longtime volunteers and former staff members were recently honored by the Illinois 4-H Foundation for their selfless dedication to the University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development program. In 2021, 71 individuals received the Foundation Hall of Fame Award, presented during a virtual ceremony Aug. 17. Four of the honorees are being named posthumously.

The Illinois 4-H Foundation established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2005 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers and former 4-H staff. Those inducted have a track record of exemplary service to 4-H or outstanding career and community achievement and were nominated by either county University of Illinois Extension staff or by the Illinois 4-H Foundation Board. Each inductee receives a commemorative Hall of Fame medallion.

“These volunteers are a model of 4-H values,” said Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation executive director. “All of our volunteers are valuable, but this award honors those that go above and beyond. These are volunteers that helped shape not only individuals, but generations of 4-H members. The Illinois 4-H Foundation is extremely proud to be able to provide this honor to thank them for their service to this wonderful organization.

Illinois 4-H programs reach nearly 120,000 youth each year through 4-H clubs, camps, educational programs, workshops and conferences in communities, schools, parks and homes across Illinois. Volunteers fill key leadership and mentoring roles throughout the state.

“Many volunteers have a tradition of 4-H in their family or were 4-H members themselves,” Barnard said. “More and more though, adults brand new to the 4-H experience are seeing the value of the life skills development program and volunteering for the first time. 4-H has volunteer opportunities that fit such a wide variety of time, skills and talents.”

To volunteer in your community, request information from the local Extension office.

“There is a place for everyone in 4-H, whether you have an hour or a lifetime to give,” Barnard said.

The 2021 Hall of Fame winners include Lori Walk and the late Philip Walk of Cumberland County, Larry and JoAnn Ring of Effingham County, Nick and Jody Milliman of Jasper County and Annette Sims of Shelby County.

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