Thurston County 4-H Honors Volunteers, Including One Member’s 50 Year Service



Submitted by WSU Thurston County Extension

The spirit of service was celebrated Sunday afternoon at the annual Thurston County 4-H Achievement Awards ceremony when more than 300 4-H members and their families gathered together to cheer this year’s stand-out 4-H members and to thank all of the volunteers.

Among those honored for many years of volunteering, Jeanne Vosburgh’s award for 50 years of service to Thurston County 4-H stood out among the rest. IN her five decades of mentoring and volunteering, Jeanne has touched several generations of 4-H kids, starting with her own experience as a kid participating in 4-H programs. Jeanne loved her 4-H experience so much, she raised her children in 4-H, and now they too mentor tomorrow’s agricultural and civic leaders as adult volunteers with the Thurston County 4-H program.

“Jeanne’s story is proof positive of the incredible impact 4-H can have on the lives of our kids,” said Thurston County 4-H Program Coordinator Patt O’Neil. “What started with Jeanne when she was a 4-H kid has blossomed into touching hundreds, even thousands of young people over the years who learned leadership, commitment, responsibility and confidence through 4-H. When you take a moment to think about it, you can see just how much Jeanne has done for the Thurston County community by volunteering with 4-H. It’s just tremendous, I’m so grateful to her.”

Along with Jeanne Vosburgh’s service award, Melissa Luper was named Teen Leader of the Year, Jenny Taylor was named Leader of the Year, and Eric, Tammy, Jessica, Rebecca, and Samantha Schallon were honored as the Thurston County 4-H Family of the Year.

“All of our kids accomplished a lot this year, but none of this would be possible without our volunteers,” Patt O’Neil said. “For every member award, for every championship win, for every project that’s completed with pride by our 4-H kids, there are parents and volunteers who help make that happen, who back that kid up. It’s important that we take the time to recognize their achievements, too.”

The Thurston County 4-H program is a partnership between the private, non-profit National 4-H Council, the Washington State University Extension program, and Thurston County government. What started as a handful of agricultural clubs for youth in the late 1800s and early 1900s has grown into a community of 442 members supporting 89 clubs in Thurston County, and 6 million young people across America learning about agricultural techniques, technology and research through practical “hands-on” learning.  The national 4-H organization is a unique partnership of the National 4-H Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 100 land-grant universities across the country, and more than 3,000 county offices that form the land-grant university Cooperative Extension System.

To learn more about the Thurston County 4-H programs and membership, visit or call (360) 867-2157. WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email