BOONE, Iowa – Volunteers are the backbone of Boone County’s 4-H program. Adult 4-H volunteers were recognized at the 4-H Awards Day held Sunday, November 13th in the Community Building at the Boone County Fairgrounds.

Kathy Toms was the recipient of the 4-H Alumni Award. Kathy Toms was a member of the Boone County 4-H Club of the Colfax Happy Hustlers. This year marks Kathy’s 25th year of volunteering in the 4-H program. While her children were in 4-H, she volunteered to be the Luther Livewires club leader. She has also served two four-year terms on the Youth Committee.

You may know Kathy from Fashion Day, where she has served as Fashion Day Superintendent for the past 10 years. Kathy is a very passionate volunteer who always makes sure all members enjoy their 4-H experience. She has a big heart and encourages members to give back to others in a variety of ways.

The Friend of 4-H Award was presented to Donna Monson. For the past 16 years, Donna Monson has served the 4-H program behind the scenes as an elected officer on the Boone County State Council. The Boone County Extension Council is the governing body overseeing Boone County 4-H. Donna Monson has served as Chair throughout her 16 years of service. She is very dedicated, dependable and involved in the world of 4-H and youth development. The youth workers appreciate that she is always available to handle any situation or to sign the huge stack of new membership certificates each year. She also volunteers for the 4-H Foodstand every year and helps with the cleanup after the fair. The impact Donna had on Boone County 4-H cannot be measured but is greatly appreciated.

The Friend of 4-H Award was presented to Tim & Vicki Heiller. You might recognize the smiling faces of Tim and Vicki Heiller from the 4-H food stand at this past trade fair. The 4-H Foodstand is Boone County 4-H’s largest fundraiser, raising funds to send youth to many educational events including conferences and camps, funds for educational workshops, club supplies and more. Led by Tim & Vicki, 4-H Foodstand posted its highest-ever earnings.

Prior to this year, however, Tim and Vicki were also involved in many aspects of the 4-H program at the state and local levels. Tim and Vicki served as club leaders for the Luther Livewires for several years. Vicki has also served on the board of directors of the Iowa 4-H Foundation, including serving as board chair.

The Meritorious Service to 4-H Award was presented to the United Bank of Iowa. The United Bank of Iowa opened a branch in Boone in 2019 and has since given a lot to 4-H’ers and the 4-H program. For the past four years, the United Bank of Iowa has been a huge supporter of Market Livestock Auctions, donating funds to both the Auction Supporters Fund and directly to the 4-H’ers themselves. During March and November, Andy helps serve omelettes or Burritos to raise money for 4-H grants. The United Bank of Iowa is also a sponsor of the Boone County Fair.

A highlight of the 4-H Awards Day program is the presentation of the Fran Thompson Memorial Outstanding Leader Award. This year’s winner was Sara Bryan. Sara Bryan has served as the club leader for the Westside Hustlers 4-H Club for the past eight years. During her tenure as club leader, the Westside Hustlers 4-H Club has grown to become the largest club in Boone County. Sara does a great job of making everyone feel welcome and valued.

Sara is passionate about giving back to the community and you’ll often see her volunteering at community and school events. You can also see them cheering on the members at school and sporting events as well as at district and state festivals. Sara always encourages club members to have fun and get involved in the many activities 4-H has to offer.

During the awards ceremony, Award of the Clover pins were presented to ten 4-H volunteers. Peg King received a forty-year 5-point diamond pin. Barb Clawson and Kathy Toms were awarded two 25-year Emerald Pins. Two Fifteen Year Pearl Pins were awarded to Danette Garcia and Nicole Jonas. Three ten-year gold pins were presented to Jennifer Derry, Kevin Meier and Stacy Walters. Rachael Beckett and Rus Schmidt were awarded two five-year silver pins.

During the Awards Day program, members of the Boone County 4-H Recordkeeping and Recognition Taskforce also presented 4-H member awards and recognized 4-H club leaders. Seventeen youth have been appointed as members of the 2022-2022 County 4-H Council.

If you would like to learn more about how you can volunteer with the 4-H program, please contact the Boone County ISU Extension & Outreach office at (515) 432-3882.

Excellent 4-H leader

Sara Bryan, Outstanding 4-H Leader with Sharyn and Brad Nelson, daughter of Fran Thompson, who will receive the award in memory.

Award of the Cloverleaf

Alumi Award

friend of 4-H

Donna Munson, Tim and Vicki Heiller

Meritorious service to 4-H

Andy Hunziker, United Bank of Iowa

(contributed article and photos, Boone County 4-H)