BLOOMINGDALE - Jefferson County 4-H advisers were dressed in costumes depicting their club's character, the theme for the 4-H program this year, at the Adviser Recognition Banquet held Tuesday at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School.
Janine Yeske, county 4-H Extension educator, was dressed as Popeye, a theme she will adopt for the 4-H in 2013.
"Popeye was strong to the finish, and that is what I want our organization to be," she told advisers being recognized for their service, as well as 4-H members and awardees.
HALLOWEEN THEME — Four-H advisers came to the Adviser Recognition Banquet at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School in their favorite character costumes. On hand were, kneeling, from left, Monica Wetherell, as a 4-H camper; and Janine Yeske, Popeye; and Aimee Glenn, 1800s woman; Joyce Wetherell, 1800s night clothes; Carolyn Piergallini, Minnie Mouse; Cheryl Lightfritz, Cher look-a-like; Michelle Wood, hunting outfit; Karen Hill, biker mom; Carl Glenn, mountain man; Katrina Bleininger, jazz man; and Suzie Zorbini, zebra from Madagascar movie. -- Esther McCoy
Regarding staying strong, Yeske gave an example of 500 youth starting the 4-H year but many less completing it.
"We have them dropping out in July when there is the required skillathon or judging . Some start taking as many as six projects (the allowed amount), but it gets to be too much and they can't complete them. We want to rethink the projects and possibly limit it to four," she said.
On each table were items that represented Popeye's world: Spinach, his "get strong" food; yams, with his favorite saying, "I yam what I yam:" bubble liquid and a pipe to blow them, a constant companion in his mouth; hamburger coupons, favorite food of his friend, Wimpy; and a flower, as a reminder of Olive Oyl, his girlfriend.
Awards were presented to people and businesses who had been beneficial to the 4-H organization during the year.
The Friend of 4-H Award, given to an individual or business providing service to the program through contributions or program facilitation and impacting youth, was presented by Carl Glenn, a six-year adviser, to M&M Hardware in Steubenville.
Tom Birney, co-owner of M&M with Scott Campbell, accepted the award.
In accepting he said, "I was never a 4-H member but know all about it through Scott. He quizzes kids who come into the hardware that he knows are in 4-H, asking what projects they are taking, what community events they have worked on, and I have even heard the 4-H pledge mentioned," he said.
Birney is no newcomer to 4-H, as he started working the business tables for the annual junior fair livestock sale in the 1980s. He has been a frequent buyer of the animals in the auction ring, as well.
His comment to being named a Friend of 4-H was, "I don't know much about 4-H but I like to eat what they produce," regarding buying meat for his freezer.
"It is nice to be recognized as part of the community and as part of the 4-H family. When people support you, you need to support them as well," he said.
Birney told the audience that Campbell, who was a member of 4-H in Harrison County and served as an Extension 4-H program assistant with Bob Norris in the 1980s, could not attend the banquet as he was deep into getting out decorations for Christmas at the store.
Cheryl Lightfritz, 4-H office associate, received the 4-H Honorary Award, given to a supporter demonstrating exemplary service and continued interest in the county program. This came as surprise because she works in the 4-H office.
The 4-H Alumni Award was presented to Dr. Aaron Stingle, who was involved with horses during his 4-H career and was an influence with construction of the horse barns at the Jefferson County Fair.
Now a veterinarian, Stingle, a former member of the Golden Horseshoe 4-H Club in Smithfield, was unable to attend because of his work schedule.
Most outstanding 4-H'ers were named, with Faith Davies, 13, a member of Lassos 'n' Lace 4-H Club, named the junior 4-H'er. Hunter Johnson, 15, a member of the Free Spirits 4-H Club, was named senior 4-H'er.
Lauren Ferralli of the Lucky Leaf Livestock 4-H Club was named reporter of the year for her work in sending the most reports that were timely, concise and neat to the Extension office, which then sends them on to the media for publication.