Archive for Thursday, June 29, 2000

Couple made it better for 12 years

June 29, 2000

The 4-H club's motto is "To make the best better."

For the past 12 years, Eudora 4-H community leaders Vern and Carma Lister have been living up to that motto by helping organize and run the local club.

But when the county fair ends in August, they're calling it quits.

Carma said the decision to end their term as community leaders wasn't an easy one.

"With the kids growing up and becoming involved in sports, it'll be more crazy than it already is," Carma said. "Something had to give and family comes first."

The Listers were introduced to 4-H several years ago after trying other youth organizations.

"We tried the Boy Scouts in DeSoto, but it just didn't go that way," Vern said.

The decision to become community leaders wasn't too hard to make because of their four children, Carma said.

"We just figured our kids would really get into it, so we also became involved," she said.

The Listers involvement isn't just a matter of attending and overseeing the club's monthly meetings. Vern said they also attend at least one additional meeting for community leaders a month, as well as organize the club's fund-raisers and help prepare members for the fair.

"4-H isn't just an hour a month for a meeting," Vern said. "You can spend up to eight to 10 plus hours a month working."

He said one of their jobs included helping not just the members but their parents as well.

"A lot of the parents were in 4-H when they were young," he said. "The problem is things have changed in 4-H since they were in, so we try to get them caught up to how 4-H is now."

Carma said community leader was a rewarding position because of the opportunity to see children receive awards for projects after their hard work throughout the year.

"It's fun to watch expressions of kids in the show ring," she said. "I really like watching them get their ribbons for their projects and how excited they are when they get a purple or blue ribbon."

Cathy Box, a parent of two 4-H members, said the Listers had been an important part of the club.

"They've kept the name of the 4-H club in good standing," Box said. "The amount of time they've put into the club has been tremendous."

She said their dedication to the club would be missed.

"You don't appreciate what you have until they say they aren't going to be there any more," she said.

"We're going to be sad to see them go. It's very sad to see this part of the 4-H experience fizzle out."

Carma said she and her husband would still be involved in 4-H even though they will no longer be community leaders.

"We'll be there to help the people who will take the community leader position over," she said.

"Our kids will still be in 4-H. We'll still be around."

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