Outstanding 4-H volunteers including Mary Schobert of Kendall County were celebrated as part of the 2022 class of the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame at an in-person ceremony during the 4-H General Project Show on at the Illinois State Fair on Aug. 14.
“Volunteers are the backbone of the 4-H program,” Leilah Siegel, 4-H youth development educator with University of Illinois Extension, said. “We value our volunteers’ continued support and dedication to our communities and programs. These fellow residents give selflessly to educate and inspire the next generation.”
As a 4-H alum, parent, grandparent, and volunteer, Schobert, a Yorkville resident, knows firsthand the real-life impacts 4-H can have on youth and the life skills they develop through the program.
“Following her mother’s example, Mary now leads her grandchildren in their 4-H club,” Siegel said. “She values how 4-H provides leadership and exploration experiences, and she has seen how the program promotes growth and development across generations.”
In addition to being a 4-H club leader, Schobert serves as a 4-H show superintendent, county records judge and workshop teacher. She also is a point person on the volunteer-led 4-H Foundation fundraising committee and 4-H livestock auction committee, which she’s served for 20 years.
Schobert was among 84 individuals who were inducted into this year’s Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame. The official announcement was made during a virtual ceremony May 20; however, the state fair recognition allows friends, family and county staff to come together to celebrate their inductee. The ceremonies are held over a three-day period to match up with each county’s exhibit days at the 4-H General Project Show.
The Illinois 4-H Foundation established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2005 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers, and former 4-H staff. Those inducted have a track record of exemplary service to 4-H or outstanding career and community achievement and were nominated by either county University of Illinois Extension staff or by the Illinois 4-H Foundation Board. Each inductee receives a commemorative Hall of Fame medallion.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit go.illinois.edu/info4Hdkk.