On Saturday, April 6, 4-H members, alumni, and friends came together in Greensboro, NC for an evening Ever GREEN celebration of the 4-H community.
“This event [formerly known as the 4-H Gala] is so steeped in the emotion of 4-H,” said event Co-Chair, Dan Cook. “We hold on to this [event] not because of the past memories, but because of the future,” he said.
And that future is bright, based on the many exhibits on display at Ever Green. 4-H’ers from across the state displayed their work to show alumni how far 4-H has come over the years. From HAM radio technologies, to a look at microbes (for the record, cell phones are gross – clean yours), to traditional home arts such as preserving and canning, the youth celebrated all things 4-H to the enjoyment of event guests.
Guilford County 4-H’er Lillian McNeal, 15, taught event-goers about the Japanese language and culture which she has been studying through 4-H. McNeal will travel to Japan in June with 4-H’s foreign exchange program. “I am most excited about seeing the people – I hear the people are pretty cool! I am excited to experience things that I wouldn’t see in America,” said McNeal.
It is the spirit of hands-on learning that drives 4-H’ers to build opportunities for themselves throughout their lives. “When I see what these kids are doing, I am more and more amazed at their skill level, confidence, and what they can do. 4-H is built around the basic disciplines of life… I wouldn’t be where I am without 4-H,” said Secretary of State and National 4-H Hall of Fame member, Elaine Marshall.
“4-H is our future. What they are doing today will potentially change the future,” said Tonja Walker who represented Farm Credit Associations of NC and her employer, Carolina Farm Credit, in receiving a Partner award at the event. When asked why she feels that supporting 4-H is important, Walker replied, “A lot of our traditions have been forgotten, but 4-H remembers. What better thing to support?”
Event co-chair Sharon Rowland summed up the event with a simple thought, “I am thrilled that this event can bring the 4-H family back together. Here we honor phenomenal people- 4-H alumni, donors – the whole 4-H community.”
Awardees for the evening included:
4-H Lifetime Achievement Awards
· Richard Freeman · Larry Hancock · Judge Preston Cornelius · Nelle Hotchkiss · Manly Wilder
Family Legacy Awards
· Tommy and JoAnn Lowder Family · John Henry and Sarah Catharine McCaskill Family
Partners in 4-H Awards
· Farm Credit Associations of NC · NC Electric Membership Cooperatives · Mrs. Martha Garmon · NC Farm Bureau · Hog Slat, Inc. · North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
NC 4-H Hall of Fame
· William Waightstill Avery · Teresa Byrd · Norman C. Denning · Ed Emory · Pam Holland · Emmanuel A. May · Dr. Wanda Sykes · Jane Tyson · Amy Warren