4-H Ontario | Press Releases | 5 Volunteers Recognized With Outstanding New Club Leader Awards
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5 Volunteers Recognized With Outstanding New Club Leader Awards

Ryan Métivier | (Posted August 28, 2014)

Rockwood, ON (August 28, 2014) – 4-H Ontario and Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. are proud to announce the winners of the 2014 Outstanding New 4-H Ontario Club Leader Awards.

4-H programming continues to grow and develop across Ontario due to the amazing dedication demonstrated by grassroots volunteers. 4-H Ontario and Gay Lea Foods wish to recognize volunteers who are new to 4-H, but are doing great things for youth members in their clubs. Gay Lea Foods is now in the second year of sponsoring an award for new 4-H Ontario leaders who embody the 4-H pledge and 4-H values. The award celebrates those volunteers who have been leaders with 4-H Ontario for less than three years.

“4-H Ontario is pleased to recognize these outstanding new club leaders,” says Evelyn Chambers, Senior Manager, Volunteer & Community Engagement, 4-H Ontario. “These individuals represent the heart of volunteering through their energy, excitement and passion for the 4-H program in Ontario and the youth they work with.”

This award was open to leaders across the province, however only one nomination was accepted per 4-H Association, with one award to be given out per region. Nominations were received from five of the six regions in Ontario, with the selection of winners being carried out by a committee of former award recipients with 4-H staff overseeing the process.

Presentations will take place at 4-H Award Nights between October and December.

The following are this year’s winners by region:

Region 1: John Leonard, Sudbury 4-H Association

John is a new leader among the 4-H ranks, but is already making a name for himself as someone who is willing to go the extra mile and step up to lend a hand wherever it is needed. John played a major role in starting the Verner 4-H Club in 2012, recruiting three volunteers to get it rolling. The club started with a Goat Project, and his efforts led to members being able to show at the Warren Fair — the first time a 4-H goat showmanship class had been held at the Fair. John’s three children have been involved in both Verner and Sudbury District clubs and he has volunteered with many projects, various events, and with Go For The Gold as a local Judge and provincially as a Project Coach.

Region 2: Melissa Ferguson, Lanark 4-H Association

Melissa has been a leader in thirteen 4-H clubs over the past three years. She has shown great enthusiasm to give back to young 4-H members in return for all that she learned during her own time in 4-H. Melissa recently gave birth to a daughter, but still makes time to volunteer with her many 4-H clubs. A member of the Lanark board and a participant in CAM 2014, she is willing to take on any responsibility needed. She also helps to operate her own family farm and lends out five to seven lambs per year to urban members in the Sheep Club. Parents of children in Melissa’s clubs say she goes beyond only teaching 4-H skills, and also teaches kids about self-esteem, while giving them the tools and reassurance to build their confidence.

Region 3: AnnaLena Seemann, York 4-H Association

In addition to leading numerous clubs, AnnaLena is also a director with the York 4-H Association, assists with fundraising initiatives for the 2015 Youth Exchanges Canada Club and attended this year’s CAM to help further her knowledge as a leader. AnnaLena has the ability to make members feel comfortable with positive encouragement and bring out their best talents for the benefit of the entire club. AnnaLena has gone above and beyond in her Photography Club, where she has loaned out her own professional equipment and studio to members. She also organized a donation of DSLR cameras for club members. In committing her own health to better living, even on a chocolate club field trip, AnnaLena found ways for members to learn about fair trade cocoa, community-building bicycle projects and the health benefits and potential of almost-pure cocoa.

Region 4: Carol Ruta, Peel 4-H Association

Carol’s members enjoy how she makes sure to include everyone during meetings and takes a genuine interest in how they are doing. When Carol became a leader in 2012 she joined the Bolton Dairy Club and put in special effort with her non-rural members by lending calves from her own farm so they could join and exhibit their project at Achievement Day. Aside from her 4-H club work, Carol also assists in other fundraisers, recently helped chaperone the Peel EastGen Team, is on the Peel 4-H Association board of directors and has taken an active role assisting with the Judging Competition, where she took over the role of Livestock Coordinator this year. Also in 2014, Carol stepped up to organize a brand new Vet Club, which has quickly become known as “the best club ever” by some members.

Region 5: Christine MacIntyre, Huron 4-H Association

Christine is always there to lend a helping hand, whether it is on a show day, or at any meeting, and always puts her club members before herself. A leader with the Lucknow Beef Club, she also supports other events sponsored by Huron County 4-H Association such as the Judging Competition. Christine volunteered to join the competition in 2013 and helped organize the beef class as well as the volunteers. Christine is very generous with her time and talents and provides 4-H members with an opportunity to use animals from her family’s beef farm as a 4-H project—an opportunity they would not have otherwise had, and encourages members to ask questions to promote learning. She has a passion for raising and showing top quality cattle and endeavours to teach 4-H members to do the same.


About Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited

Gay Lead Foods Co-operative Limited was founded in 1958 when a group of farmers came together with a common vision – to better the lives of Ontario farming families and co-operatives. Today, they are proud of that heritage as the second largest dairy co-operative in Canada, owned by over 1,200 dairy farmers. Since their humble beginnings, they have grown to 11 production facilities and distribution centers across Ontario and Quebec.

About 4-H Ontario

4-H Ontario is a grassroots organization of leaders building leaders. At 4-H, participants, youth aged 6–21; and screened, trained volunteer leaders come together to create a 4-H club and learn about a selected topic through hands-on activities and mentorship. There are also a variety of camp and conference opportunities. Through the 4-H experience, members learn to do by doing and build valuable skills that will help them reach their full potential to become conscious, contributing citizens.





For more information please contact:

Ryan Métivier, Coordinator, Communications, 4-H Ontario

519.856.0992 x465, digital@4-hontario.ca




Marshal McLernon, Senior Manager, Communications, 4-H Ontario

519.856.0992 x462, communications@4-hontario.ca

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