4-H Volunteer Leaders Recognized For ServiceTue, 06 Jul 2021 11:17:00 CDT
Oklahoma State University is pleased to announce the award recognition of two Oklahomans who have made significant impacts by their volunteerism with the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development program. Read more about Lily Stubbs and Sheryl Moore below.
For Lily Stubbs, 4-H is a way of life. Having dedicated 17 years as a volunteer with the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development program – 14 of which with certification – she is a cornerstone of Cleveland County 4-H.
Her hard work and dedication were recognized at the recent 2021 Parent-Volunteer Conference that took place on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater when she was named the 4-H Lifetime Volunteer of the Year, as well as the Southeast District Volunteer of the Year. This lifetime award is presented to a volunteer with at least 10 years of service.
Her volunteerism began with the Little Axe 4-H Cloverbuds when her now-college-age children, Joseph and Jebidiah, were young. Little did she know at the time that her 4-H volunteer career was going to lead her to a lifetime of 4-H work. What started as volunteerism eventually led her to becoming a club leader – and she never slowed down. She currently is leader of the Little Axe 4-H Club, Cleveland County Agricultural Club and the Cleveland County Archery Club.
When asked why she volunteers, the answer came easily.
“I volunteer because I get to make a difference. Even if it’s just with one member, I get to make a difference,” Stubbs said. “My favorite thing about volunteering is seeing the kids grow from Cloverbuds to senior members and seeing the success they have in their lives.”
Delaney Cruzan, Cleveland County 4-H’er, said Stubbs has made a big impact on her 4-H career.
“Coming into 4-H as an older member was daunting to me as most of my peers had been in 4-H for multiple years,” Cruzan said. “Ms. Lily was formative in my 4-H success from the very beginning. Her belief in me changed me for the better. If I grow into half the woman she is, I will consider myself to be a success. She deserves to be recognized for her work and service in the 4-H program.”
Ruth Allard, who now serves at the statewide 4-H shooting sports coordinator, worked with Stubbs for more than three years in her previous role as the OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development educator in Cleveland County.
“When Lily sees a need, she’s there to offer help. No matter what the subject area, she will always lend a helping hand however she’s able to,” Allard said. “Lily has helped keep the Cleveland Count 4-H program alive through many transitions in the Extension office, as well as a transition to a new district. She is a huge advocate of 4-H and positive youth development.”
Melody Schrank has served as a volunteer alongside Stubbs for many years. Having volunteered herself for more than 18 years, Schrank has seen how Stubbs has impacted the 4-H program in Cleveland County.
“I attended many county events where I observed Little Axe 4-H growing under Lily’s leadership. Her members were participating in every county contest and event, and her club was quickly becoming the club to beat,” Schrank said. “While her children are both in college and no longer 4-H members, Lily continues to volunteer countless hours of her time to Cleveland County 4-H.”
In addition to leading various clubs, Stubbs also is a member of the Cleveland County 4-H Foundation and president of the Parent-Volunteer Association. She serves on the 4-H Program Advisory Committee, is active on the state shooting sports committee, is a national level-2 shooting sports instructor and has served as the Cleveland County Fair 4-H superintendent. She volunteers for activities across the state by teaching workshops and judging events such as Cupcake Wars.
With a catch in her voice, Stubbs said she is overwhelmed by the recognition.
“This award is very humbling. It’s just cool to be part of the 4-H organization,” she said.
If you’ve been to a 4-H activity in Pittsburg County, whether it be the county fair, a shooting sports contest, livestock show or an Impressive Dress competition, it’s a sure bet you’ve seen Sheryl Moore there lending a helping hand.
Having served as a 4-H volunteer for 11 years and volunteer leader of the Haileyville 4-H Club for eight years, Moore knows a thing or two about 4-H. Her dedication to the youth of Pittsburg County was recognized recently during the 2021 4-H Parent-Volunteer Conference on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater when she was named the 4-H Volunteer of the Year and the Southeast District Volunteer of the Year. This award is presented to a volunteer with less than 10 years of service as a volunteer leader.
Moore said she began volunteering because her daughter was heavily involved in 4-H, but soon saw another need for her own efforts.
“After a while, I noticed there were some kiddos who didn’t necessarily have the support system that other club members did. I just felt like it was something I needed to do,” Moore said. “I wanted to help out those kids and give them encouragement. I’ve hauled kids all over the state for 4-H events and if they’re willing to work at it, I am too.”
As a 4-H’er herself, Moore was a member of the Mangum 4-H Club and participated in the horse program. Now that her granddaughter has joined, the family is four generations strong in the 4-H Youth Development program.
Ragan Kirkes has high praise for Moore’s contributions to the Pittsburg County 4-H program.
“Mrs. Moore is funny, a people person and a really good person to hang out with. In my short time in 4-H, Mrs. Moore really got me involved with 4-H activities such as sewing and photography,” Kirkes said. “She’s encouraged me to enter my stuff in the county fair and I’ve won some awards.”
In addition, Kirkes said Moore is a great recruiter for 4-H, which has allowed Kirkes to make new friends with people she may not have connected with otherwise.
Moore not only recruits new club members, she also is instrumental in recruiting parents and teachers as volunteers. She’s actively involved in the county Health Rocks program, Farm to You and has served as a District 4-H Leadership Conference chaperone.
Some of her other accolades include being named the 2015 Pittsburg County Volunteer Leader of the Year, as well as the 2016 Southeast District Volunteer of the Year.
“Sheryl not only has a positive impact on her club, but our entire county,” said Greg Owen, OSU Extension 4-H educator in Pittsburg County. “Her club participates in everything in our county. I’m really proud of her efforts with her innovative programming. Her older club members are trained to work with the younger members to create a mentor-learner environment, which leads to greater success on projects for each member and builds leadership skills for the older members.”
Owen said together he and Moore started a Character Critters Crew of 4-H teens who teach this curriculum in area schools. To date, they’ve conducted more than 170 programs that have reached over 2,100 youth.
“Sheryl also promotes teen leadership development. She currently has two State 4-H Ambassadors, one district 4-H officer and two Pittsburg County 4-H Ambassadors in her club,” Owen said. “I cannot think of a more deserving person for the 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award than Sheryl Moore.”
Throughout her years as a volunteer, Moore said seeing the growth in her club members is one of her favorite things.
“I love seeing the kids in my local club go from being afraid to stand up and speak and afraid to put themselves out there, to running for an office, serving as a local or county officer and just watching them grow in their confidence,” she said.
So, what does this state award mean to her? Moore said she doesn’t immerse herself in 4-H for the recognition, but it nice to know that her involvement has been recognized.
“Volunteers don’t do this for the pat on the back, but it’s a good feeling to know those late nights and some frustrations aren’t in vain,” she said. “Just being appreciated is a great feeling.”
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