Twenty-four Michigan 4-H volunteers honored for 50 years of service by Michigan State University Extension

As individuals and organizations across the country celebrate National Volunteer Week this April 17-23, Michigan State University Extension is celebrating 24 volunteers who have given 50 or more years of service to Michigan 4-H.

A heart shaped made by people's hands.

As individuals and organizations across the country celebrate National Volunteer Week this April 17-23, Michigan State University Extension is celebrating 24 volunteers who have given 50 or more years of service to Michigan 4-H.

“Volunteers are an essential part of many MSU Extension programs,” said Quentin Tyler, director for MSU Extension. “We appreciate each and every one of those volunteers, but these 24 volunteers in particular have truly gone above and beyond. For a half century, they have given their time and talent to 4-H youth in their communities.”

Michigan 4-H is the flagship youth development program of MSU Extension. Annually, Michigan 4-H provides approximately 200,000 young people ages five to 19 with experiential learning opportunities that help develop critical life skills. These experiences are offered through numerous delivery models and countless program areas, thanks in large part to the generous support of more than 13,000 volunteers.

4-H volunteers help lead young people and grow their skills in many venues, including after-school programs, summer camps, short-term special interest groups, year-long clubs, special events, fairs, mentoring programs and more. As they provide hands-on guidance and real-world experience, these volunteers also offer young people another crucially important element: a healthy adult role model who helps to grow their confidence and ignite their dreams for the future.

“We simply could not operate our 4-H programs without the support of caring volunteers,” said Jake DeDecker, state leader for Michigan 4-H Youth Development and associate director for MSU Extension’s children and youth programs. “In their 50 years of service, these 24 people have made an immeasurable impact. They’ve led and supported many programs, championed numerous initiatives and changed countless lives and for that ongoing commitment and dedication to Michigan 4-H and youth in our state, we thank them.”

The Michigan 4-H 50-year volunteers being recognized in 2022 are:

  • Carole Billig, Lapeer County
  • John Cregg, Mason County
  • Virginia Ferris, Ionia County
  • Jeannette Flynn, Calhoun County
  • Mike Flynn, Calhoun County
  • Lester Gerstenberger, Sanilac County
  • Grant Gettel, Tuscola County
  • Joan Gould, Lenawee County
  • Larry Gould, Lenawee County
  • Raymond Jacobs, Shiawassee County*
  • Margaret Kingsbury, Muskegon County
  • Janet Lucius, Tuscola County
  • Bonnie McCarthy, Cass County
  • Floreine Mentel, Monroe County
  • Angela Michel, Monroe County
  • Daisy Myers, St. Joseph County
  • Howard Pennington, Lenawee County
  • Joanne Richardson, Hillsdale County
  • Donna Shoup, Mason County
  • James Shoup, Mason County
  • Pennie Tomac, Saginaw County
  • Roxanne Wheeler, Midland County
  • Beverly Winter, Monroe County
  • Dennis Winter, Monroe County

In recognition of their service, 50-year volunteers received a gift of appreciation from MSU Extension leadership, as well as a personal note of thanks.

Tribute gifts in honor of any or all of these 4-H volunteers may be made to support 4-H at: https://mi4hfdtn.org/memorial-tribute-gifts/.  To learn more about volunteering with Michigan 4-H, visit 4h.msue.msu.edu.

* Denotes a posthumous recognition.

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