4-H volunteers selected for Wall of Fame

Published 11:03 pm Monday, June 1, 2009

Pike County 4-H volunteers Glenda Kelly and Lydia Sexton were inducted into the Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame in Montgomery last month. They were two of 24 inductees honored during special ceremonies at the Alabama Farmers Federation.

Volunteers are essential to a successful 4-H program. No one knows that better than Tammy Powell, Pike County Extension coordinator, who nominated Kelly and Sexton.

“Over the years, we have been extremely fortunate to have outstanding volunteers who were and are committed to the 4-H program here in Pike County,” Powell said. “Not just the program when their children were involved but to the program itself. And there have not been two volunteers who have been more dedicated and more committed than Glenda Kelly and Lydia Sexton. They have participated in all different aspects of the 4-H program from 4-H Camp to judging competitive events. They have been great supporters of the total program and they are deserving of being named to the Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame.”

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Powell would have been surprised if Kelly and Sexton had not been selected.

“Their dedication and commitment is second to none,” she said.

Kelly said she was involved in 4-H Clubs “years and years ago” as a student but the leadership opportunities are where she feels she has been able to make a meaningful contribution.

“There wasn’t a 4-H Club on campus at Charles Henderson High School so I went to Mrs. Powell and asked her if there was a possibility of starting one,” she said. “That’s when I got involved in a leadership role.

“My daughter is a member of 4-H and it was a great opportunity for me to work with young people through such a wholesome organization that has so much to offer if young people will just take advantage of it.”

The rewards of 4-H Club leadership are many, but Kelly said the greatest reward is seeing young people grow and mature.

“They come to embody all that 4-H represents,” she said. “The 4-H program pulls out the best in young people and makes them good, all-around students and citizens. If young people will just grab all that 4-H offers them, then they will live up to the motto of ‘Making the Best Better.’”

Sexton became involved in 4-H in a rather unexpected way. She was attending a 4-H meeting and an emergency call took the Extension staff member from the classroom. Sexton stepped in and delivered the program that day and she was hooked on 4-H.

“I’ve been involved in 4-H for about 20 years and to be selected to the Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame is a real honor,” she said. “It’s nice to be recognized for things you do. I enjoy working with kids and being exposed to all the things that 4-H offers. I get a lot of personal pleasure from being involved. I love being a volunteer and doing all the stuff that 4-H’ers do. That’s my reward.”

The Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame recognizes individuals and organizations that have had a significant effect on the 4-H Youth Development programs, its members and leaders. The Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, Inc. and Alabama 4-H honors, remembers and pays tribute to those who have influenced the lives of Alabama youth by their commitment “To Make the Best Better.”

Kelly is on the Alabama planning committee for the 2009 Southern Region 4-H Volunteer Leaders Forum. She has attended the Regional Forum for the last five years.

“Glenda’s knowledge and skills benefit the committee as she works to make it a great event,” Powell said.

Kelly is the president-elect of the Alabama 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association and has served as district director and historian.

Sexton’s involvement in and support of 4-H spans a range of projects for more than two decades. She coordinated Pike County’s competitive events with more than 250 4-H’ers participating.

Sexton serves on the Pike County 4-H Council and has chaperoned 4-H Camp, district and state competitions and assisted with 4-H judging teams. Her children have been active 4-H members.