March 19, 2008 Edition

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Gail Rorex (from left) and Mark and Martha May dish up chili during the lunch on Saturday.

Old and young celebrate
4-H's influence together

Gene Wheeless (left) and Herb Ginn, county Extension agent for agriculture, talk about the 4-H section found in the last week's edition of The Times Dispatch. Wheeless, who has been a 4-H leader for nine years and promotes 4-H whenever he can, said, "I can see a positive difference in the kids who involve themselves in 4-H."

Lawrence County Judge Alex Latham, who spoke at the Centennial Celebration, praised and encouraged both youth and community involvement in 4-H.
Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

Although adverse weather on Saturday morning rained out the Wagon Train, there was still plenty to celebrate at the Lawrence County 4-H Centennial Celebration. About 70 supporters gathered in the historic Clover Bend School cafeteria to enjoy lunch and an afternoon honoring how 4-H involvement has benefited their lives.

Examples of the influence 4-H provides was evident wherever one looked.

The program's emcee, Stephanie Richey, said, "4-H is more than a club, it's a lifestyle."

Viola Meadows shared about 4-H's influence on her life.

"4-H has been in my heart all my life," she said. "In this very room, one of the Extension Home Demonstration agents influenced my life by sending me to the University of Arkansas through 4-H to fulfill a lifetime dream of becoming a home economics teacher. I'm so grateful."

Youth of different ages took the lead as they decorated the room with balloons, served meals and handed out door prizes. Heads were bent together to share stories, while individuals scanned photographs and memorabilia that lined tables down both sides of the room.

Howard Meadows recounted his experience of forming 4-H clubs in the Sudan of Africa to fulfill the needs of about 40 young men in 1959.

The chili lunch concluded with green and white cupcakes arranged in a three-foot-wide 4-H clover emblem. A brief program included speakers Gail Rorex, County Judge Alex Latham and Stephanie Richey, Arkansas 4-H Hall of Fame member, as well as a musical number performed by Alysia Coles.

Lawrence County's 4-H youth presented the 4-H ritual, pledges and centennial video.

The day's celebration provided a glimpse of how experiences enjoyed as youth reach out through time to continue to warm even the golden years.

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