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2017 Gay Lea Outstanding New Club Leader Award Recipients

(Posted July 27, 2017)

The Gay Lea Outstanding New Club Leader Award recognizes volunteers who are new to 4-H, but are doing amazing things for the youth in their clubs. Leaders who have been with 4-H Ontario for less than three years are celebrated through this award.


Tayler Black - Wellington & Waterloo

Tayler is a volunteer in both Wellington and Waterloo 4-H Associations. He is quick to volunteer and help with all things 4-H. Not only has he become a leader of several clubs, but he helps recruit members for those clubs and takes on tasks to help distribute responsibilities. Tayler was one of the chief cooks at the grilled cheese sandwich booth for three years now—a fundraiser for the World Dairy Expo 4-H Club. He was on the CAM committee for 2017 and recently stepped up onto the Wellington 4-H Board of Directors. He takes an active role at judging nights and recently organized a club fundraiser for the Damascus 4-H Club. Tayler’s patience makes him great with youth and he’s truly a team leader.


Eileen Blenkarn - Russell

Eileen embodies the 4-H pledge in all that she does for 4-H. Eileen wanted to provide the same opportunities to children in the Russell area as she had and because there were no 4-H cooking clubs offered in Russell, she recruited a friend to lead the club with her, convinced a nutrition teacher to allow 4-H to use the high school cooking classroom to accommodate more members, enlisted the teacher to assist with instruction, found sponsors and led her first club in 2015, Milk Makes It Better. She has also been a leader of the Vet Club for two years, a pizza club, Go for the Gold club, the heritage poultry club and this fall will be leading a cooking club and square dancing club. Eileen is always quick to volunteer to assist others, work on committees, help organize events or lend a helping hand to other leaders and members and always does it with a smile.


Alice Pennie - Manitoulin Island

Alice was a 4-H member in the 1960’s participating in agriculture and life skills clubs. Originally a leader when her own children became 4-H age, she then left 4-H for some time until her grandchildren entered the program and she recently resumed her 4-H career. Alice has assisted with 100-year anniversary activities and attended CAM 2016. As a leader in the Birdwatchers Club she helped members build birdhouses from scratch and place them in parks throughout Manitoulin. She is also a leader in the Walk On The Wildside Club, where she hiked, scavenger hunted and letterboxed with members.


Rebecca Posthumus - Hastings

Since graduating the 4-H program, Rebecca has taken on a leadership role in the Campus Club at the University of Guelph. More recently, accepted a last minute invitation to co-lead the Beef Club even though her 4-H livestock experience was limited to dairy. Rebecca also shows leadership on the Hastings County Board of Directors where she has held the positions of both the Association Representative and a Junior Director for several years. Rebecca has quickly transitioned from being a member that anyone could call to the leader that will always say yes to help out any way that she can. One of the things that makes Rebecca such an outstanding leader is her ability to make all of the members in her clubs regardless of age, gender, background and abilities feel included.


Sandi Shaw - Lambton

Sandi embodies all the characteristics of a successful leader in the 4-H program. Growing up in a 4-H family she learned many skills that she is now sharing. She married a 4-H member, who is also a leader with all four of their children participating in the 4-H program. She has excellent organization skills which she has used to plan events, coordinate programs and complete projects successfully. Sandi has lead Grow Your Own, Pizza, Sewing, Farm Business, Chocolate, Engineering, Fabrication and Woodworking projects. Additionally, Sandi offered to co-chaperone a 4-H Club to Club Exchange for 2017, while also helping to coordinate the fundraising for it. Sandi volunteers on the Lambton Board of Directors and is on the committee for the Canada 150 Celebration in Lambton in 2017.

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