Vickie L. Smith has been inducted into the Illinois 4-H Foundation Hall of Fame.
She is one of 71 people received by the Foundation in 2021.
Smith has been a part of the 4-H Fair Committee on the Foods Committee for at least 15 years, and the superintendent of that committee for most of those years. She coordinates the Foods judging for Ogle County 4-H by assisting the judges, setting up the foods display, and keeps it organized during fair week. Smith also served as a 4-H Club leader for 18 years with the Forreston Friskies 4-H Club.
Illinois 4-H volunteers empower and prepare youth for success as the program relies on its more than 15,000 volunteers to fill key leadership and mentoring roles. Longtime volunteers and former staff members were recently honored by the Illinois 4-H Foundation for their selfless dedication to the University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development program.
All were recognized during a virtual ceremony Aug. 17. Four of the honorees are being named posthumously.
The Illinois 4-H Foundation established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2005 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers, and former 4-H staff. Those inducted have a track record of exemplary service to 4-H or outstanding career and community achievement and were nominated by either county University of Illinois Extension staff or by the Illinois 4-H Foundation Board. Each inductee receives a commemorative Hall of Fame medallion.
“These volunteers are a model of 4-H values,” says Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation executive director. “All of our volunteers are valuable, but this award honors those that go above and beyond. These are volunteers that helped shape not only individuals, but generations of 4-H members. The Illinois 4-H Foundation is extremely proud to be able to provide this honor to thank them for their service to this wonderful organization.
Illinois 4-H programs reach nearly 120,000 youth each year through 4-H clubs, camps, educational programs, workshops, and conferences held in communities, schools, parks, and homes across Illinois. Volunteers fill key leadership and mentoring roles throughout the state.
“Many volunteers have a tradition of 4-H in their family or were 4-H members themselves,” Barnard says. “More and more though, adults brand new to the 4-H experience are seeing the value of the life skills development program and volunteering for the first time. 4-H has volunteer opportunities that fit such a wide variety of time, skills, and talents.”
To volunteer in your community, one may request information from the local Extension office. “There is a place for everyone in 4-H, whether you have an hour or a lifetime to give,” Barnard says.