November 15, 2017 - 5:46pm -- hoyt.88

Congratulations to 2017 Top 4-Her Christi Crites, Outstanding Advisor Rick Pruden, and Hall of Fame Recipient Kanda O’Dell.

These awards were presented at the 4-H Volunteer Appreciation Dinner November 4, 2017 at the Lenox Community Center.

Christi Crites & Rick Pruden        Kanda O'Dell, Hall of Fame Inductee

Top 4-Her Award:

The Ashtabula County Top 4-Her Award is given to a junior and senior 4-Her who have gone above and beyond in 4-H. 4-Hers are nominated by other members and 4-H volunteers for this award which is focused on the 4-H career of youth who have excelled in the program. Youth were asked to take part in a short interview with a panel of 4-H Volunteers.

Christiana Crites is 18 years old and a member of the Vaqueros 4-H Club. While in 4-H, Christi has participated in horse, turkey, and archery projects. Christi has also served many offices in her club and was the 2016 4-H Equine Royalty Queen. Christi has also competed at the Ohio State Fair with her horse and represented the County 4-H program as State Fair Delegate for archery. Christi has a strong commitment to community and has helped to raise community service project animals to benefit UH Rainbow Babies and Lake Recovery Outside of 4-H with her club. Christi upholds a positive attitude in all that she does and is constantly striving to make the best better as a mentor for younger 4-H members. This year, Christi faced her own setback when she broke her back this spring and could not ride. She did not let this dampen her spirit and instead focused on supporting her sister and other club members learn and grow.

Outstanding 4-H Volunteer Award:

The Outstanding 4-H Advisor Achievement Award is given to a volunteer with less than 10 years of exceptional service to the 4-H program. This award focuses on the volunteer’s whole 4-H experience and their dedication of time and support to the 4-H youth.

This year we recognize Rick Pruden as the 2017 recipient of the Ashtabula County Outstanding 4-H Advisor Achievement Award for dedicating his Head, Heart, Hands and Health to the 4-H youth. Rick has been a volunteer for 7 years with the Vaqueros 4-H Club. Rick grew up in Geneva and has served as the Poultry Project Advisor to the club guiding his club members to grow backyard prize winning birds. Club members appreciate Rick’s commitment to the club as well as the extra effort he puts in teaching the youth about being a great person and a great role-model. Rick’s sense of humor creates a fun and engaging experience encouraging club member participation. Beyond his role as Poultry Advisor, Rick has been instrumental in organizing club fundraisers and helping with horse shows as well.

Thank you Rick for committing yourself to the betterment of the County 4-H program. 4-H is about teaching, learning and preparing our youth for the future by teaching life skills and you have certainly dedicated yourselves to doing just that.

4-H Hall of Fame Inductee:

The Ashtabula County Hall of Fame Award is given to a volunteer with 10 or more years of exceptional service to the 4-H program. This award focuses on the volunteer’s whole 4-H experience and their dedication of time and support to 4-H youth.

In 2017, we honor Kanda O’Dell for going above and beyond the call of a 4-H volunteer. Kanda has been a 4-H volunteer in Ashtabula County for 14 years with the Chris Clover 4-H Club. As a Volunteer with Chris Clover, Kanda provides leadership to the Cloverbuds and works with the team of Officers to run efficient and well led meetings. With a large club of diverse ages and project areas, Kanda’s club members look to her for well-organized learning experiences and activities. Kanda works to personally ensure that all members feel included and welcome at meetings and events and makes contact with members to be sure they are on track to complete their project work.

As a Junior Fair Board Advisor, Kanda works with a group of 27 youth and the Entertainment, Advertising and Community Service Committees in preparation of events for the Fair. During Fair week she supports her own club as well as the Talent Show and Kids’ Games and worked to organize the Learn By Doing activities at Fair. Throughout the year, Kanda helps with the General Projects Committee and other county 4-H events in the Community.

Outside of her 4-H Family, Kanda and her husband Brian have raised two successful adult children, Kyle and Emily, and she serves as an active volunteer with the Austinburg Volunteer Fire Department, the Austinburg Country Days, and was also a Girl Scout Troop Leaders for 15 years.

Thank you Kanda for committing years of hard work and devotion to the betterment of the youth of Ashtabula County and the 4-H program expecting nothing in return.

Thank you, Kanda!