March 3, 2018

Contact Information: Anne Reeder, 573-882-4332


Helen Hettinger of Knox County was honored with a 2018 Frank Graham 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award by the 4-H Center for Youth Development in March. She was one of 19 volunteers recognized statewide for commitment and leadership to the University of Missouri Extension 4-H Youth Development program. Helen has been very active in the Knox County 4-H program for the past five years.

“It is an honor to provide these outstanding volunteers with this recognition in honor of the late Frank Graham, also known as Mr. 4-H. These volunteers have demonstrated loyalty and skills in developing youth as leaders of today,” said Dr. Alison Copeland, Interim Director of the MU Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development.

According to Knox County 4-H Youth Program Assistant, Crystal Karhoff, “Helen has been involved in the Knox County 4-H program her entire life and is in her sixth year as a Knox County 4-H volunteer. She has served in a variety of capacities such as 4-H/FFA Fair Board President and Vice-President, 4-H Council and Fair Board voting representative, Art Hall superintendent, Royalty superintendent and she is currently serving as the Liberty Leaders 4-H Club co-leader. Helen has been actively involved in the National 4-H Week committee the past two years and the Fair Book committee. She has served as project leader for numerous livestock and art hall projects, as well.
   During the previous 4-H year, Helen spent over 100 hours in the Knox County Extension office, at home, and out in the community donating her time to the 4-H youth. As a stay-at-home mom, Helen devoted lots of energy to planning the National 4-H Week activities last year. With her assistance, the first and second years of the 4-H Project Night and Clover Kids Activity Night in Knox County have been successful. She also spent many hours helping to update the Fair Book art hall pages, make copies, bind books, etc.  She has served on the Recognition committee, Achievement Day committee and volunteers her time as our program photographer, as needed. Helen is always willing to serve in any capacity to provide the best experience possible for our youth and never misses an opportunity to attend a 4-H event in the county.
   In addition to her time spent supporting the growth of the 4-H program in Knox County, Helen is also a member of the LaBelle Eastern Star, Emmaus, Chair for Vacation Bible School and Sunday School in her church association, former associational clerk, Red Cross volunteer, CERT member, and LEPC member. She attends many school functions and enjoys taking photographs of all students within the school district to share with their loved ones. She is someone our small community can depend on to lend a helping hand, wherever needed."


This year’s recognition event was held at the 4-H Center for Youth Development on the MU campus. The guest presenter was Heather Feeler, Communications Chief with the Missouri Department of Conservation. She presented on how to use communications, including social media, to engage and reach more volunteers.

The Frank Graham 4-H Volunteer Leadership award recognizes exemplary volunteers for their hard work and dedication to helping Missouri youth grow. It is named for Frank Graham who served as director of MU Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development from 1958-1975. During his 33 years of service, Graham was an avid supporter of volunteer leadership, believing that a volunteer is the foundation of the 4-H program.

For more information about the Missouri 4-H Program, go to