HUDSON, N.Y. — A volunteer is defined as someone that donates their time to participate in a cause or program. 4-H is the Cooperative Extension youth development program and has hundreds of volunteers across Columbia and Greene counties that help to provide programming to youth in 4-H clubs, school classrooms, libraries and other community sites. This National Volunteer Week, April 18-24, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties looks to recognize those who have reached milestones in volunteering for its 4-H club program.
Billy Greer, North Chatham and Judy Bury, Kinderhook have been selected to receive the Dot Ball Memorial 4-H Leader Award from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties’ 4-H Youth Development Program. They have a combined total of 47 years volunteering in support of local youth.
This award is presented in the memory of Dorothy Ball, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 89. Wanting to help her children and other neighborhood children, Dorothy started a 4-H club, the West Copake Lassies, in 1954 which she led for twenty years. After that she continued to support 4-H as a public presentation and county fair judge for an additional twenty years.
Greer is the organizational leader of the Baker’s Dozen 4-H Club, located in the North Chatham area. Billy started his 4-H club along with his wife, Kira, when their triplets were ten years old. As their 4-H members have become teens they have transitioned their typical 4-H project meetings to engaging in impactful community service projects such as a Christmas-time nursing home visit and volunteering at the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless.
As the 4-H Milk Bar open during the Columbia County Fair is a totally volunteer-led enterprise, more of a career-development and learning opportunity for 4-H members than a fundraiser, periodically it is looking for new leadership. Thankfully, several years ago Billy stepped forward and with his seasoned food service experience, has led the ice cream booth in a positive direction. All along the way he has taught the teens running the booth essential skills such as team work, customer service and communication.
Billy is also involved in Cornell Cooperative Extension in other ways – as President of the Board of Directors, as a member of the 4-H Youth Development Advisory Committee and as a 4-H evaluator for public presentations and foods exhibits.
Billy Greer is undeniably a volunteer that is a force to be reckoned with – full of enthusiasm and unending creativity. As Billy’s nominator proclaims, “Billy’s enthusiastic participation seems contagious!”
Bury is a project leader for the Udderly Impossibles 4-H Club, located in the Kinderhook area. Judy’s history as a 4-H club leader began in the 1960’s when she started a 4-H club in Wallkill, NY for the children in her neighborhood as her three children at that time were all under five years old.
When she moved to Columbia County she established the Blondies 4-H Club. Judy’s 4-H club activities were always based on the interests of the 4-H members. Her own expertise as a home economics teacher took them far with cooking, sewing, child care, first aid and crafting. She was all about bringing the neighborhood in to support the 4-H members and found community members to teach projects such as woodworking and electricity.
Judy led this 4-H club for more than twenty years – then stepped back to a project leader as her daughter started the Udderly Impossibles 4-H Club. In this new role Judy was first an assistant club leader then continued as a project leader, a mentor (to both 4-H members and their parents) and a sounding board when considering new projects.
Judy’s nominator describes her best, “She always meets the 4-Hers at their level and encourages them to try harder than they think they are able while providing the necessary guidance to help them be successful”.
In recognition of their accomplishments both Billy and Judy were presented with a gift certificate to one of their favorite local restaurants where they can enjoy a night out (hopefully without the kids).
Also recognized are 4-H club leaders who have attained five-year increments of active involvement. They are:
Five year silver award – Abigail Schweter, Bananas 4-H Club and Teen Ambassadors 4-H Club; Alex Johnk, Medway Mountaineers 4-H Club; Amy Hilliard, Country Cousins 4-H Club; David Charron, Buccaneers 4-H Club; Haley Zurawel, Bananas 4-H Club; Maria Gerber, Curious Country Kids 4-H Club; Meghan Charron, Buccaneers 4-H Club and Udderly Impossibles 4-H Club.
Ten year gold award – Sarah Gallagher, Merry Sprites and Knights 4-H Club.
Fifteen year pearl award – Emily Kress, Wilderness Workers 4-H Club; Ilene Stark, Little Critters 4-H Club; Kristine Ooms, Farm Friends 4-H Club.
Thirty year award – Phil Trowbridge, Columbia Country Feeders 4-H Club; Roberta Keller, Udderly Impossibles 4-H Club.
Forty year award – Judy Bury, Udderly Impossibles 4-H Club.
Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. The programs provided by this organization are partially funded by monies received from the Counties of Columbia and Greene.
4-H is New York’s only youth development program directly connected to the technological advances and the latest research at Cornell University. 4-H participants learn leadership, citizenship and life skills through hands-on projects in three primary program areas of agriculture; healthy living; and natural resources. To find out more about 4-H and youth programs in Columbia and Greene Counties, contact us at 518-828-3346 or Columbiagreene@cornell.edu or visit our website, www.ccecolumbiagreene.org . You can also “Like” us on Facebook…Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Columbia and Greene Counties
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