The District 10 4-H Honors Banquet was held Saturday, October 18, at Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde. This event honors the outstanding 4-H members from the 21 counties in District 10 who have been selected to receive 4-H’s highest honor. Jayme Danz was the 2008 Blanco County award recipient. Jayme was a member of the Soaring Eagles 4-H Club and is now a freshman at Texas A&M University.
Gold Star recipients were special guests of AEP-Texas, the sponsor of the Banquet for over 40 years. Each honoree received the traditional Gold Star Pin from Texas AgriLife Extension Service and a 1 gigabyte jump drive from AEP-Texas. Mrs. Gloria Schwarzlose, retired District Extension Director, was the keynote speaker. Mrs. Schwarzlose is a product of the 4-H program. She was a ten year 4-H member and Gold Star recipient.
This year also began a new tradition with the addition of recognition of volunteers with the Golden Clover Award. Each county had the opportunity to nominate one volunteer for this award. There were 14 volunteers nominated this year. April Klepac was this year's winner. April serves as a Club Manager for the Hill Country Spurs 4-H Club.
Let’s take a look at the impact that volunteers have on the 4-H program. During the 2007-2008 4-H year, there were 3,416 volunteers in District 10. Let’s estimate that each volunteer gave 40 hours during the year (most of them give more time than that!). That equals 136,640 hours of volunteer time. According to the Independent Sector, the value of a volunteer’s time is $19.51 an hour. The total value of volunteers to the District 10 4-H program was a whopping $2,665,846.40. The time, dedication and service volunteers give to 4-H are priceless!
The Gold Star award has an interesting history that began back in 1929. The first Gold Star Awards in Texas were presented to County Extension Agents, not youth! In 1929, agents who submitted the most 4-H record books from their county to the State received the award. In 1933, E.C. Martin, Boy’s 4-H Club Specialist, wrote that nominations would be received and the top 100 4-H’ers across Texas would receive the Gold Star Award at State Short Course at College Station (currently called State 4-H Roundup).
In 1948, the award was changed to include the outstanding boy or girl in each county. The cost of the pin was 30 cents plus 5 cents for postage. Girls could wear the pin on bracelets and boys could use them for tie clasps. At this time, selection for girls were made by the chairman of the county home demonstration council and two 4-H club girls. The agricultural agent could use the Ag Council or the County Judging Committee for boy’s selection.
In 1953, Texas allocated 250 Gold Star tie clasps and 250 bracelets across the state. By 1972, boy and girls designations were changed to include only the outstanding 4-H’ers in the county. In 1979, the Gold Star pin was redesigned and the current allocation system based on 4-H enrollment was implemented statewide.
Congratulations to the Blanco County Gold Star recipient Jayme Danz and Golden Clover recipient April Klepac for a job well done! We look forward to seeing what your future holds as you continue to “Make The Best Better!”