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COLUMBIA, Mo. – During National Volunteer Week, April 17-23, Missouri 4-H wants to shout out heartfelt thanks to its amazing volunteers. Thousands of people choose to spend their time volunteering for Missouri 4-H. Because of their efforts, 4-H can provide a wide variety of opportunities for Missouri youths.

“Their efforts embody the spirit of 4-H and what it really means to be a true leader,” says Missouri 4-H Director Lupita Fabregas. “We have deep gratitude for their commitment to serve as mentors, teachers and guides for our youth as they find their spark.”

Each year, 4-H specialists in each county can nominate volunteers for the Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award, presented by the Missouri 4-H Foundation, and the Frank Graham Volunteer Leadership Award, given by the University of Missouri Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development.

The Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award recognizes exceptional volunteers and organizations for notable contributions to 4-H. The award is named in honor of Naomi Mohler Crouch, who served as a Missouri 4-H Foundation trustee and chair and was a Clay County 4-H parent and volunteer.

This year, one organization and two individuals were selected to receive the Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award:

The Frank Graham 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award recognizes exemplary volunteers for their hard work and dedication to helping Missouri youths grow. “These volunteers have demonstrated loyalty and skills in developing youth as leaders of today,” Fabregas said. The award is named for Frank Graham, who was director of the Missouri 4-H Center for Youth Development from 1958 to 1975 and was a founding member of the Missouri 4-H Foundation board of trustees. During his 33 years of service, Graham – also known as “Mr. 4-H” – was an avid supporter of volunteer leadership, believing that volunteers are the foundation of the 4-H program.

This year, 51 Frank Graham Volunteer Leadership Award winners are being recognized:

  • Ramona Andrus, Wright County
  • Millie Aufdenberg, Cape Girardeau County
  • Jon and Pam Barnes, Ralls County
  • Amy Bax, Cole County
  • Darlene and Mitch Beaman, Howard County
  • Stacy Begemann, Lafayette County
  • Paula Bodenhamer, Ozark County
  • Sarah Boyer, Hickory County
  • Angie Buck, Adair County
  • Laurie Burbank, Linn County
  • Janet Caple, Henry County
  • Amanda and Tim Cringan, Ray County
  • Jamie Dixon, Howell County
  • Mary “Angel” Dotson, Dallas County
  • Debbie Elder, Cedar County
  • Donnie and Becky Gilbert, Montgomery County
  • Heather Gooch, Cass County
  • Wendy Guss, Warren County
  • Serena Hagler, Texas County
  • Angie Hamlin, Lewis County
  • Neili Hammer, Hickory County
  • Kevin Hansen, Livingston County
  • Ardith Harmon, Clark County
  • Anne Hedeman, Dade County
  • Laura Henny, Henry County
  • Ronda Holly, McDonald County
  • Greg Holtgrewe, Cole County
  • Gail Huber, St. Charles County
  • Brandon Huster, Warren County
  • Marcia Jenkins, Bates County
  • Jennifer Keaton, McDonald County
  • William Paul Kirk, Taney County
  • Amanda Lehenbauer, Monroe County
  • Robert (Bob) McCollum, Linn County
  • Andrea McKeown, Randolph County
  • Anne Pfeiffer, Cooper County
  • Megan Pollard, Macon County
  • Jill and Brad Putnam, Lewis County
  • Shari Renfro, Ray County
  • Sarah Schad, Morgan County
  • Michele Schewe, Lafayette County
  • LaTisha Scott-Snead, Clark County
  • Melitta Shields, Lincoln County
  • Kelly Shilling, Newton County
  • Tracy Staples, Crawford County
  • David and Jeanna Tharp, Sullivan County
  • Martha Ware, Sullivan County
  • Pam Weaver, Jasper County
  • Ann Wideman, Ralls County
  • Bryon Wiegand, Randolph County
  • Bennie Young, Callaway County

The Frank Graham Volunteer Leadership Award is sponsored by the Missouri 4-H Foundation. For more information, go to

For more information on the Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award, go

About Missouri 4-H

Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow – making a real difference in their community, country and world. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information on Missouri 4-H, visit

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