4-H Ontario | Press Releases | 4-H Ontario Honours Six Volunteers with 2020 4-H Ontario Outstanding New Club Leader Award
4-H Ontario

Press Releases

4-H Ontario Honours Six Volunteers with 2020 4-H Ontario Outstanding New Club Leader Award

Laura Goulding, 4-H Ontario | (Posted July 20, 2020)

ROCKWOOD, ONT. (July 20, 2020) - 4-H Ontario is pleased to announce the six winners of the 2020 4-H Ontario Outstanding New Club Leader Award, sponsored by Gay Lea Foods. The 2020 winners are: Rob Perigo (Region 1 – Sudbury), Harrietta Bretzler (Region 2 – Stormont), Nadia Goodfellow (Region 3 – Lennox & Addington), Emily Summerhayes (Region 4 – Brant), Jeff Bechard (Region 5 – Grey) and Alex Richardson (Region 6 – Chatham-Kent).

The 4-H Ontario Outstanding New Club Leader Award recognizes club leaders who have volunteered with 4-H for less than three years and are doing outstanding things for the youth in their clubs.

“We are very proud to honour these amazing individuals for their contributions to the 4-H program,” says Evelyn Chambers, Senior Manager, Volunteer and Community Engagement, 4-H Ontario. “Their efforts in their 4-H clubs and communities truly embody what it means to be a 4-H’er.”

This award celebrates volunteers who embody the 4-H pledge and 4-H values. One nomination for the 4-H Ontario Outstanding New Club Leader Award is accepted from each association and one winner is selected from each region. Award recipients will receive a custom print commissioned by 4-H Ontario and sponsored by Gay Lea Foods.

“Gay Lea is pleased to partner with 4-H Ontario and offer support to recognize the 4-H volunteers selected for this award. These leaders demonstrate the 4-H ideals to their members, delivering valuable leadership and life skills to our youth. We congratulate them on receiving this award and encourage them to continue to influence in their communities,” says Marie McNabb, Vice-Chair, Gay Lea Foods.

Read on to learn about the 2020 4-H Ontario Outstanding New Club Leader Award Recipients.

Rob Perigo

Region 1 – Sudbury 4-H Association

Rob became a 4-H volunteer in 2018 and has led nine projects including: Our Great Outdoors, Grow Your Own, Community Gardening, Woodworking, Wildlife Gardening and the Potato Project. He lives 30 minutes outside of the city with his family and yet consistently comes in to volunteer his time to clubs as a co-leader, but also to tend to the 4-H Community garden during the growing season. He shares his passion for the 4-H values by valuing members’ input, by giving feedback and guiding members in a hands-on style of learning.  “My experience with Rob Perigo as a volunteer for my 4-H club has been nothing short of incredible! He is invested in bettering our club, the community, and he is always willing to help out,” says Jena, Youth Leader, Sudbury 4-H Association.  Rob is an asset to 4-H and his knowledge, skills, trustworthiness, willingness to help and positive attitude consistently demonstrate his embodiment of the “Head”, “Heart”, “Hands” and “Health” of 4-H.

Harrietta Bretzler

Region 2 – Stormont 4-H Association

Harrietta is 4-H alumni and participated in many 4-H opportunities as a youth. Since becoming a 4-H volunteer, she has led five clubs including Chocolate, Happy Holidays, Good Foods Fast, Soup and Breadventure. In addition to volunteering her time to help with association fundraisers and events, Harrietta is the current Livestock Coordinator and a member of the Volunteer Screening Committee within the Stormont 4-H Association. She demonstrates invaluable leadership skills in every club she leads and always encourages each youth to participate, learn and develop. As a leader, she is always prepared for meetings and works with her co-leaders efficiently to ensure youth get the most out of their clubs. Harrietta is known for her warm smile and excitement that brightens the eyes of youth who learned new skills they didn’t think they were capable of.  “She is an amazing leader and will continue to do great things with 4-H for the years to come. I hope to one year become a 4-H leader like Harrietta,” says Lillian, 4-H participant.

Nadia Goodfellow

Region 3 – Lennox & Addington 4-H Association

Nadia graduated from the 4-H program two years ago and stepped right into a 4-H volunteer role, leading the Lennox & Addington 4-H Beef Club. She is an active member of the Lennox and Addington 4-H Association, assisting with local fundraisers and she is also the Co-Chair of the Association’s Executive. Nadia consistently demonstrates the quality of a good 4-H leader by living out the 4-H motto: Learn To Do By Doing. She ensures the youth have direct experiences, develop skills and meaningfully engage with other participants. Nadia always puts the club members first by involving youth in identifying goals and club planning and doing everything she can to provide a great all-around 4-H experience. “Nadia has been a role model to me for the seven years I have been in 4-H. She was a great leader as a club member and now as an official leader. She’s always coming up with great ideas for the club, encourages members to get involved and is always there to help a hand,” says Shannon, 4-H participant.

Emily Summerhayes

Region 4 – Brant 4-H Association

Emily graduated from the 4-H program in 2018 and became a 4-H volunteer in 2019. Since becoming a 4-H volunteer, she has led five clubs including Breakfast Bonanza, Art, Pizza and Let’s Get Growing. As social distancing protocols were put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Emily was quick to move her clubs to an online format and she crafted creative ways to run meetings at home with enthusiasm. She shows skill and creativity in teaching and administration, compassion in working with youth and volunteers and flexibility when plans need to be altered. Emily takes time to understand the needs and interests of the club members so she can provide adaptations for activities to ensure youth have the most meaningful 4-H experience possible. All this she does with a kind and humble spirit to make a positive difference in her club. “Emily Summerhayes is an outstanding new leader! I really look up to her and I hope to be a leader like her when I graduate 4-H,” says Charlene, 4-H participant.

Jeff Bechard

Region 5 – Grey 4-H Association

Jeff began his time with 4-H as a 4-H parent and immediately became involved in helping his daughters with their livestock project and helping them achieve their goals. He became a 4-H volunteer in 2018 and has led the Wiarton 4-H Rabbit Club and founded the Wiarton 4-H Mechanics Club. Jeff recognized the need for a club that was hands-on mechanics, so he started one and took on the responsibility of obtaining safety equipment and finding projects for the club that were meaningful to the youth and their community. He challenges club members to learn not only about the projects they are doing, but also about themselves as members, citizens and leaders. He ensures youth have the opportunity to give feedback and tailors the club to their needs, and together they learn from experience and grow as individuals in their knowledge and critical thinking skills. “This is only the start of our time with Jeff as a 4-H leader and I can’t wait to see where it will go from here,” says Joseph, 4-H participant.  

Alex Richardson

Region 6 – Chatham-Kent 4-H Association

Alex is 4-H alumni and since becoming a 4-H volunteer in 2018, he has led the Blenheim Field Crop Club and the Kent Centre Lifeskills Club. He also volunteers his time to help out with Association events such as the Chatham-Kent 4-H Rally Night and other 4-H outreach opportunities like the local Plowing Match and Mini 4-H Diagnostic Days. Within his club, community and country, Alex strives to make a difference and leave a lasting impact whether it be through leading meetings with agriculture expertise or sharing his hobby of woodworking. His consistent demonstration of leadership, organizational and communication skills, along with his passion to teach youth make Alex an asset to 4-H. “Alex is an outstanding mentor and leader. His passion for 4-H is evident in the way he models the elements of the 4-H pledge and the way he has embraced his role as a 4-H leader. I feel very fortunate to have Alex as my leader for the Blenheim 4-H Field Crop Club,” says Ryan, 4-H participant.




About 4-H Ontario

4-H Ontario is a non-profit positive youth development organization that builds youth as leaders within their communities and assets to the world. With roots in rural Ontario, today it is open to youth of all backgrounds across the province. 4-H youth ages 6–21 and screened, engaged volunteer leaders come together to learn about selected topics through fun hands-on activities and mentorship. There are also provincial camps, conferences, competitions and national and international travel opportunities available to further develop skills in leadership, business, self-confidence and more. 4-H provides youth with a place they can be involved, accepted, valued and heard while developing valuable skills for leadership and life.

For more information please contact:

Laura Goulding, Coordinator, Communications, 4-H Ontario

519.803.6647, digital@4-hontario.ca


About Gay Lea

Gay Lea Foods is a Canadian dairy farmer-owned co-operative known for its co-operative-inspired value and high quality, innovative and award-winning dairy and food products.  

Leading with principles that empower Canadian farmers, prioritize partnerships and support rural businesses and communities, they operate facilities in urban areas of Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, as well as in smaller, rural communities across Ontario, including Madoc, Stirling, Teeswater, Hagersville and Thornloe.


Back to Press Release Listing