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Fifty-three Michigan 4-H volunteers honored for 50 years of service by Michigan State University Extension

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As individuals and organizations across the country celebrate National Volunteer Week this April 18-24, Michigan State University Extension is celebrating 53 volunteers who have given 50 or more years of service to Michigan 4-H.

Hands raised up in the air.

As individuals and organizations across the country celebrate National Volunteer Week this April 18-24, Michigan State University Extension is celebrating 53 volunteers who have given 50 or more years of service to Michigan 4-H.

“Volunteers are the backbone of so many MSU Extension programs,” said Patrick Cudney, acting director for MSU Extension. “And these 53 volunteers have truly gone above and beyond, giving their time and talent to our 4-H communities for half a century.”

Michigan 4-H is the flagship youth development program of MSU Extension.  Annually, Michigan 4-H provides approximately 200,000 young people ages five to 19 with experiential learning opportunities that help develop critical life skills. These experiences are offered through numerous delivery models and countless program areas, thanks in large part to the generous support of more than 13,000 volunteers.

4-H volunteers help lead young people and grow their skills in many venues, including after-school programs, summer camps, short-term special interest groups, year-long clubs, special events, fairs, mentoring programs and more. As they provide hands-on guidance and real-world experience, these volunteers also offer young people another crucially important element: a healthy adult role model who helps to grow their confidence and ignite their dreams for the future.

“4-H truly would not be possible without the support of caring volunteers. In their 50 or more years of service, these 53 people have made an immeasurable impact,” said Jake DeDecker, state leader for Michigan 4-H Youth Development. “For the programs they have led and supported, the initiatives they have championed, and the countless lives they have changed, we thank them for their ongoing commitment and dedication to Michigan 4-H and youth in our state.”

The Michigan 4-H 50-year volunteers being recognized in 2021 are:

  • Donald Anger, Midland County
  • Pam Babbitt, Muskegon County
  • Nora Davis, Branch County
  • Betty Dennis, Tuscola County
  • Robert Dennis, Tuscola County
  • Joan Dostaler, Houghton-Keweenaw Counties
  • Carol Fanson, Ingham County
  • Harvey Fanson, Ingham County
  • Betty Flath, Jackson County
  • Michael Fleming, Macomb County
  • Willard (Bill) Fowler, Hillsdale County
  • Joyce George, Clinton County
  • Sandra Gill, Menominee County
  • Gary Gracy, St. Joseph County
  • Terry Gracy, St. Joseph County
  • Frank Graham, Isabella County
  • Carol Graham, Isabella County
  • Suzette Hendershott, Berrien County
  • Judy Kaboos, Ottawa County
  • Alice Kempf, Muskegon County
  • Karen (Kay) Kietzer, Berrien County
  • Lucy Ann Knizacky, Mason County
  • Dennis Koenigsknecht, Clinton County
  • Jean Kuhlman, Ionia County
  • Joan Kuhne, Saginaw County
  • Patricia LaBair, Tuscola County
  • Diana Langshaw, Kalamazoo County
  • Martha Lawrence, Oakland County
  • Marilyn Letts, Calhoun County
  • Joam Lindsley, St. Joseph County
  • Roberta Luttke, Berrien County
  • Leonard Mitchell, Shiawassee County
  • Shirley Myers, Calhoun County
  • Norma Osborn, Chippewa County
  • Patricia Paasman, Ottawa County
  • Mildred Pirlot, Wayne County
  • Sandi Pyle, Antrim County
  • Barbara Siebarth, Monroe County
  • Charlie Silm, Clinton County
  • Betty Simpson, St. Clair County
  • Sue Smith, Huron County
  • Joan Spindler, Shiawassee County
  • Gladys Strong, Isabella County
  • William Thompson, St. Joseph County
  • Harry Vander Kolk, Allegan County
  • Doreen Wakefield, Shiawassee County
  • Janet Wendland, Saginaw County
  • Vera Wiltse, Isabella County
  • Bev Winter, Monroe County
  • Dennis Winter, Monroe County
  • Donna Wojtysiak, St. Clair County
  • Donna Woods, Calhoun County
  • Carolyn Worth, Barry County

In recognition of their service, 50-year volunteers received a gift of appreciation from MSU Extension leadership, as well as a personal note of thanks.

Tribute gifts in honor of any or all of these 4-H volunteers may be made to support 4-H at: https://mi4hfdtn.org/memorial-tribute-gifts/.  To learn more about volunteering with Michigan 4-H, visit 4h.msue.msu.edu.