8:13 a.m., Oct. 29, 2009----Wendee Killmon was honored as the first recipient of the Joy Sparks Spirit of 4-H Award for New Castle County, as county 4-H clubs held their annual Achievement Banquet on Thursday, Oct. 22. The dinner and awards ceremony were attended by nearly 150 4-H'ers and family members at the New Castle County Cooperative Extension Office in Newark.
The award was presented by Donald Sparks, S. Hallock du Pont Chair of Plant and Soil Sciences and director of the Delaware Environmental Institute at the University of Delaware, and Mark Manno, Delaware 4-H interim state coordinator.
The Joy Sparks Spirit of 4-H Award recognizes outstanding individuals who exhibit enthusiasm, dedication and exemplify 4-H spirit and values. The award is named in memory of 4-H state project leader Joy Sparks, who died Feb. 17, 2009.
Katie Daly Jones, 4-H educator, says that in determing who should receive the award, “Wendee Killmon's name immediately came to mind. Much like Joy, Wendee represents the four 4-H ideals of head, heart, hands, and health.”
Killmon has been a 4-H'er for almost her entire life, starting as a Sussex County 4-H member. She keeps a busy schedule as a student at the University of Delaware, which includes serving as a hall director and being active in clubs and organizations, including collegiate 4-H.
Despite this packed schedule, Killmon finds a way to make time for the Delaware 4-H program. She serves as a judge for various competitions, leads workshops, puts in hours in the 4-H building at the Delaware State Fair, and has provided leadership to many of the county day camp programs.
Killmon has not only been active in each county in Delaware, but also on the national level, serving as a collegiate facilitator for the National 4-H Conference.
As Daly Jones describes Killmon, “Her enthusiasm and positive attitude accompany her to each and every event and program she attends. Wendee serves as a positive role model to 4-H'ers young and old, and easily makes friends wherever she goes. Her dedication and commitment to the 4-H program are unparalleled and Delaware 4-H is so fortunate to have her as a part of the program.”
Upon receiving the award, Killmon expressed her gratitude, saying she was honored to have been chosen.
4-H is the world's largest youth group, teaching leadership, creativity and other life skills. 4-Hers participate in many events, contests and project areas. The New Castle County 4-H and Youth Development program is just one of the many programs offered by the University of Delaware's New Castle County Cooperative Extension Office.