The Bosque County Office of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service recently hosted the 2020 Volunteer Recognition Banquet Monday, December 14, at the Meridian Civic Center. Bosque County Commissioners and the Leadership Advisory Board also organized and recognized those that shone through service this year in community volunteering. Texas House Representative DeWayne Burns gave a speech before awards were distributed.
The event was limited to roughly 50 attendees and tables were socially distanced. Masks were encouraged, except when tables of two were eating.
The Leadership Advisory Board consists of Ryan Ledlow, JoAnn Geoff, Roger Parks, Tab Ferguson, Angela Smith, Ronny Lairdon, Michele Valdez, Gary Phillips, and Stef Cobb. Chelsea Dorward, Chris Coon, Marc Arnold, and Kaelyn Clark of the Extension Service were all present, helping to move the ceremony on. Bosque 4-H and local FFA Chapters were represented by youth that volunteered to serve the food at the event.
This year, Dr. Lloyd Hampe received the Agriculture & Natural Resources Award for more than 42 years of service and fiscal support of youth events and the Central Texas Youth Fair. Mary Ann Dietiker and Kathy Witte received the Community Festivals and Events honors on behalf of the Central Texas Youth Fair Board. Organizers and Burns noted that ensuring that the Fair went on when few others did (and successfully) was inspiring.
Irene Wilkinson received the Family and Health Services Award for her work and volunteerism Bosque Senior Services and the Laguna Park area. Clifton VFD President Jerry McDougal received the Fire Department & First Responders Award.
Rhonda Jernigan received the award for Youth Services, while the Civic Organizations and Community Service award went to David Burden. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors for Goodall-Witcher and other organizations in the Clifton area. He’s been active for more than 20 years in the Lions Club and First United Methodist Church. Jernigan is active in the Valley Mills Area with volunteers in 4-H Youth, organizing the Tractor Pull and countless bake sales in support of programs. She serves the Valley Mills Fire Department. She’s also worked extensively with the Central Texas Youth Fair and livestock events in our area.
Despite attendance limited by COVID-19, the event was well received and enjoyed by all. For those that continue to volunteer their time or resources for others, thank you.