Friend of 4-H Award presented to Citrus County 4-H Foundation Directors accessibility restaurant explore domain room_service shopping_basket arrow-circle-right search instagram linkedin yelp twitter youtube star facebook Trip Advisor
Citrus County 4-H Foundation directors Bob Iverson, Lisa Gray, David Tomczak, Cindy Connolly, Wayne Sessa, Hal Porter, Andy Hunnicutt, Marlene Law, Burt Stevens, Carrie Landry, and Tony Wiesen.

Friend of 4-H Award presented to Citrus County 4-H Foundation Directors

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on November 16, 2021

Each year, the University of Florida’s (UF) 4-H youth development program recognizes outstanding individuals who benefited 4-H youth programs. The Citrus County 4-H Foundation directors received this award at the annual Extension Professional Associations of Florida (EPAF) conference on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

University of Florida Friend of 4-H Award presented to Citrus County 4-H Foundation Directors

Founded in 1986, the mission of the Foundation directors is to support Citrus County 4-H programs. They devote countless hours and much sweat equity to developing financial resources to provide educational opportunities for youth in our community. As advocates for the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension, they dedicate energy to the ideals and financial sustainability of the Citrus County 4-H program.

The current volunteer Foundation directors are Hal Porter, President; Wayne Sessa, Vice-President; Bob Iverson, Treasurer; Andy Hunnicutt, Secretary; Marlene Law, Rodeo Chairwomen; Lisa Gray, member; Burt Stevens, member; Tony Wiesen, member; Cindy Connolly, member; Carrie Landry, member; and David Tomczak, member. While not named here, the investment of past foundation directors contributed directly to the success of the 4-H program today.

Early on, the directors raised money by organizing banquets and silent auctions. This changed in 1995, with a mission to “Make the Best Better”. That year, the Foundation planned and produced the 1st Citrus Stampede Rodeo. Current Foundation president Hal Porter said, “We had a dream, then …. to raise $100,000 for our county 4-H program.” The Foundation has surpassed their initial goal with this annual tradition.

This year celebrates the 25th Annual Citrus Stampede Rodeo. The Rodeo will be held Friday, November 19 and Saturday, November 20, 2021 at the Citrus County Fairgrounds (3600 S Florida Ave, Inverness, FL 34450).

The Foundation’s ongoing commitment supports the 4-H program. Funds are used in 4-H Public Speaking, classroom STEM programs, and 4-H Club work in small group settings. The outcome? Growing the next generation of community leaders through experiential projects and youth-adult partnerships that develop citizenship, leadership, and responsibility. Raising money for the local 4-H program leverages the benefits to the larger community.

The Foundation seeks to build confident youth that see themselves as active participants in the future. They support youth in opportunities for self-determination by funding 4-H graduating seniors with scholarships. The scholarship recipients may attend two-year or four-year colleges or trade/technical schools. Since 2000, sixty-four 4-H Alumni realized their goals for a brighter future through education. Together, students received over $100,000 in scholarships. These scholarships reflect the commitment of the Foundation to the futures of Citrus County youth.

To learn more about 4-H youth development programs, including youth membership and volunteer opportunities, contact Marnie Ward, Citrus County 4-H agent, at (353) 527-5712 or [email protected].