Sussex 4-H honors excellence, dedication and community service at the annual awards event

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension
Posted 10/6/23

GEORGETOWN — The Sussex County 4-H Achievement Event was held Sept. 23 at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center. 

In addition to many club awards, the …

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already a member? Log in to continue.   Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Sussex 4-H honors excellence, dedication and community service at the annual awards event


GEORGETOWN — The Sussex County 4-H Achievement Event was held Sept. 23 at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center. 

In addition to many club awards, the following achievements and recognitions were highlighted during the event.   

Joy Sparks Spirit of 4-H award winner was Amy West of Milton. Ms. West was recognized for her dedication and service to Sussex County 4-H for more than 25 years. 

Growing up as a Sussex County 4-H member, she was active at the local, county and state levels.  Ms. West carried this dedication to her adulthood and to her children.  

Ms. West currently serves as president of the Sussex 4-H Link (Alumni) Organization and the county program, as well as the organizational leader of the Hollymount 4-H Club, which serves the Milton and Lewes areas.   

Through the years, Ms. West has taken many roles at the county level.  She is an active member of the Sussex Leader Association, where she helps at many events.   

“Amy is always willing to help wherever needed. Her love and dedication to 4-H shine through in all that she does!  She works well with both youth and adults, always encouraging them to learn new things and get involved,” said Jill Jackson, Sussex County 4-H educator.  “There is little doubt that Amy will continue to inspire the 4-H Motto, “To Make the Best Better.” 

The Joy Sparks Award is given in memory of Joy G. Sparks, past State 4-H Program Leader. Ms. Sparks was a lifelong 4-H member who embodied what it meant to be a 4-H’er and used her Head, Heart, Hands and Health to better herself and her community. Award recipients are chosen based on their contributions to the 4-H program and keeping Joy’s spirit of 4-H alive. 

The Friend of 4-H Award was awarded to Doug Crouse, of Harrington, who has been involved with Delaware 4-H for more than 50 years. Mr. Crouse was a 4-H member in Kent County for 10 years and has been a member of the Kent County Links for more than 40 years.  He was also an Organizational Club Leader and Club Volunteer for many years before officially serving as the Kent County 4-H educator for 13 years. 

In 2012, Mr. Crouse was named the Delaware 4-H State Program Leader. In this statewide position, Mr. Crouse led Delaware 4-H, delivering an enormous impact on the youth of Delaware.  He helped the staff develop and implement the Delaware 4-H Strategic Plan and Plan of Work.  

Mr. Crouse has also built and maintained partnerships with state and local agencies that support 4-H and other Cooperative Extension programs. Omnipresent at the Delaware State Fair, Mr. Crouse is reliably found in the 4-H Building, where he takes great pride in making sure every exhibit and ribbon are placed perfectly, and the numerous events and contests smoothly run.   

A true supporter of Delaware 4-H, Mr. Crouse takes great joy and pride in his work with members, volunteer adult leaders and the 4-H staff.  Mr. Crouse recently announced his upcoming retirement with University of Delaware Cooperative Extension; however, Mr. Crouse will continue to cheerlead for the youth of Delaware through the 4-H program.  

This award recognizes an individual or organization who contributes time and resources to Sussex 4-H in a variety of ways. 

Diamond Clover Award was given to Carter Bradley of Laurel for his service project: “Carter’s Care Kits.” The mission of his project is to provide hygiene kits to the homeless population of Delaware.  

Products in the kits include toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, tissues, lip balm and hand sanitizer. Mr. Bradley recruited 4-H clubs, community clubs and his school’s swim team to help with this project.

Overall, 557 Carter’s Care Kits have been donated to local homeless shelters. Mr. Bradley said this project was a life-changing experience that has shaped his perspective on the world and his role within it.  He wants to continue to address social issues and create positive change.  

The Diamond Clover Award – Level Six, is the highest recognition a 4-H member can achieve. The award recognizes sustained community service and service leadership and is akin to the Eagle Scout Award. 

Leaders Association Scholarship was awarded to Declan West of Milton. The scholarship award is given to outstanding 4-H’ers taking into consideration, project work, participation, community service and leadership. 4-H’ers may receive this award only once. 

Links Scholarships winners included Lexington Chisenhall of Bridgeville, Emorie Jackson of Bridgeville, Cody Kuhlman of Milton, and Taylor Melvin of Greenwood. The recipients of this award received a full scholarship to Younger Member Weekend Camp.Barbara Taylor Scholarship winner was Julia Freebery of Lewes, and the Alternate was Lucas Marquez, Seaford. The recipient of this award received a full scholarship to Younger Member Weekend Camp.

Phyllis Hill Memorial Award: Ainsley West presented the Phyllis Hill Memorial Service Award on behalf of the Hollymount Club. The recipient of this award was Dakota Carmona of Greenwood.   

Ida Layton Leadership Award, sponsored by the Layton Family in honor of Ida Layton, former 4-H leader and member of the Sussex County Horse Advisory, winner was Kyle Kerr, Bridgeville. 

4-H Spirit Awards, awarded for how well they represented the 4 H’s (Head, Heart, Hands, Health) and 4-H Spirit throughout the year, winners are Caydance Means of Seaford, Rachel O’Day of Seaford, Declan West of Milton, Demetrius Moutzalias of Dagsboro, Austin Quackenbush of Greenwood and Gina Anger of Bridgeville. 

National 4-H Event Award winners:  

  • National Conference Kyle Kerr of Bridgeville and Sam Gossett of Millsboro
  • National Ignite Summit Carter Bradley of Laurel, Ruby DiSabatino of Selbyville, Kyle Kerr of Bridgeville, Kieran Probert of Millsboro, Declan West of Milton and Cassidy White of Dagsboro
  • National Shooting Sports Participant Abby Sparpaglione of Georgetown
  • National 4-H LifeSmarts Participants Bryan Cabrera-Icte of Seaford, Reagan Fritz of Ocean View, Kaitlyn Johnson of Selbyville and Edwin Noon of Selbyville
  • National Congress 2023 Delegates Carter Bradley of Laurel, Bailey Fletcher of Lewes, Kyle Kerr of Bridgeville and Ainsley West of Milton 

Exploring 4-H Project Award Winners:

  • 4-H’ers who completed the project Brayden Cooper, Ella Crockett, Gunnar Glasco, Brooke Messick, Raina Passwaters, Andrew Platek, Chase Pusey and Jonathan Tucker.  

Exploring 4-H Award Winners:

  • Top Awards Raina Passwaters, of Seaford and Chase Pusey, Bridgeville
  • Honorable Mention Andrew Platek of Seaford and Jonathan Tucker of Bridgeville 
Members and subscribers make this story possible.
You can help support non-partisan, community journalism.