WEEPING WATER – Cass County students worked hard to produce many top achievements in their 4-H clubs over the past year.
They earned honors for their efforts Sunday at the annual 4-H Achievement Party.
Cass County Nebraska Extension officials hosted the event in the Expo Center at the Cass County Fairgrounds. Lauren Stohlmann, Tracy Ensor and Sondra Buell led an afternoon of activities that included games, a cake walk, awards program and ice cream bar.
Stohlmann serves as extension educator and unit leader for Cass County. Ensor works as an assistant for the local Nebraska Extension program, and Buell serves as office manager for the Cass County organization.
Stohlmann told students she was proud of their achievements over the past 365 days. Youth and adults from all corners of Cass County participated in 4-H activities. Ten 4-H clubs completed community service projects and dozens of children collected individual honors at county and state competitions.
“I want to thank you and congratulate all of you for your hard work during the past year,” Stohlmann said. “We all look forward to seeing you continue to grow in the coming years.”
Stohlmann also praised the work of 4-H adult volunteers. The crowd recognized 23 people who reached service milestones in 2018-19. They received awards for working with students for two, five, ten, 15 and 45 years.
“Your time and expertise is so appreciated,” Stohlmann said. “Please give these folks a round of applause, because they have given so much to help our youth with these programs.”
Members of 4-H Western Feeders, Nehawka Swine, Weeping Water Whiz Kidz, Cass County Creative Cats, Plattsmouth Diversity, Stove Creek Rustlers, Fairland Giants, Triple B, Hamma Lamma Slammers and Monster Hares were honored for completing community service activities. These projects ranged from picking up trash along roads to helping with school enrichment programs.
4-H Western Feeders, Nehawka Swine, Weeping Water Whiz Kids, Cass County Creative Cats and Plattsmouth Diversity all earned gold medals in Cass County’s Clubs of Excellence program. Stove Creek Rustlers, Fairland Giants, Triple B, Hamma Lamma Slammers and Monster Hares all earned silver medals in the same program.
2019 4-H Council Chairman Doug Wehrbein began the program by recognizing all members of this year’s group. Stephanie Schafer served as vice chairwoman, Diane Mills was treasurer and Morgan Mills was secretary.
Courtney Bockman, Lily Korytowski, Trey Lamkins, Jenna Muntz, Lexi Penke, Allison Uhe, Shay Uhe, Kate Zakaras, Heather Ackman, Bryan Freel, Teresa Hawks, Dennis Heim, Brandi Lambert and Jenny Schroll were fellow 4-H Council members. They attended many meetings throughout the year and helped with activities such as the Cass County Fair and 4-H programs.
Wehrbein also recognized members of the Cass County Bankers Association for their financial support of 4-H events. Ten banks in Eagle, Elmwood, Louisville, Murdock, Murray, Nehawka, Plattsmouth and Weeping Water are part of the association. Members sponsored award plaques and supplies for the achievement party.
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Wehrbein also thanked members of the Cass County Agricultural Society and Cass County Board of Commissioners for their assistance during the year. Society officers Mark Rathe, Scott Lubben and Meggan Roeber and county commissioners Janet McCartney and Dan Henry were all present.
“These individuals are tremendous supporters of Cass County youth,” Wehrbein said. “They deserve a lot of applause for their work.”
Twelve students were honored for being involved with 4-H activities for ten years. Elijah Bolin, Carson Downs, Kallie Larson, Sierra McMains, Rylan Meyer, Tucker Oehlerking, Lexi Penke, Sela Rikli, Sophia Vercellino, Lauren Wehrbein, Cole Wendt and Reba Wilson reached this achievement.
Nine students were honored for being involved with 4-H activities for 12 years. Courtney Bockman, Austin Hawks, Lauren Justesen, Spencer Koehn, Lily Korytowski, Jeremiah Lubben, Cedric Moxey, Jayda Moxey and Katelyn Vogler earned this distinction.
Five students were honored for being involved with 4-H activities for 14 years. Mickayla Larsen, Alexis Ahrens, Casey Kopf, Madison March and Katrina Thomassen captured this honor.
Tammy Cavanaugh and Lindsay Erickson were both recognized for serving as 4-H leaders for two years. Geoffrey Edwards, Heather Ackman, Alicia Garbers, Heidi Korytowski, Diane Mills, Don Mills, Carae Oehlerking, Landy Roeber, Meggan Roeber, Janelle Fleischman and Tracie Tyler were honored for five years of 4-H leadership.
The audience recognized Renee Thakur and Harold Thomassen for being 4-H leaders for ten years. Cindy Penke, Brandy Ahrens, Dennis Heim, Krystl Knabe, Karey Koehn, Dan Staben and Diane Bolin were honored for 15 years of service, and Carleen Dowding received a special award for spending the past 45 years helping 4-H students.
Karey Koehn received the Olga J. Livers 4-H Leader Award, Les Hlavac received the 4-H Meritorious Service Award and Dr. William Schlichtemeier received the Outstanding 4-H Alumni Award. Joan Brown received the Tribute to Leader Excellence Award, and Mark Rathe accepted the Heart of 4-H Award on behalf of KanEquip, Inc.
Luke Lambert was honored with the Outstanding Intermediate 4-H Member Award, Clayton Wagner received the Outstanding Junior 4-H Member Award and Spencer Koehn received the Outstanding Citizenship Award. Charles Cawley accepted the Outstanding 4-H Volunteer Award and Harrison Koehn was honored with the Memorable 4-H Experience Award.
Jack Lambert, Mollie Lambert, Layton Brauckmuller and Kaia Shotkoski all collected 4-H Workshop Voucher Awards. These symbolized their efforts at various 4-H workshops throughout the year.
Eleven students earned Diamond Clover Awards at the ceremony. 4-H students can reach different levels by completing projects and activities with their local clubs.
Tyler Pankonin, Austin Wagner, Clayton Wagner and Dakota Wagner earned Level 1-Amethyst recognition, and Layton Brauckmuller, Mollie Lambert, Ella Miller and Anne Pankonin reached Level 2-Aquamarine honors. Charles Cawley was honored for reaching Level 3-Ruby status, and Joslyn Stamp and Harrison Koehn both earned Level 4-Sapphire honors.
Students who earned High Point Awards in the Senior Division included Spencer Koehn, Trey Lamkins, Kyle Baxter, Courtney Bockman, Gabriel Ackman, Jenna Muntz, Jeremiah Lubben, Mikayla Larsen and Kate Zakaras.
Students who earned High Point Awards in the Intermediate Division included Anne Pankonin, Cassie Herrick, Kaia Shotkoski, Shawn Kavanaugh, Kenny Malchow, Jillian Rathe, Kole Albert, Luke Lambert and Dakota Wagner.
Students who earned High Point Awards in the Junior Division included Harrison Koehn, Kiley Herrick, Kaelyn Herrick, Corrine Kavanaugh, Micaiah Price, Mollie Lambert, Charles Cawley, Layton Brauckmuller and Clayton Wagner. Shawn Kavanaugh was named Overall High Point champion for the year.