By Kaylem Kresge Laurella News Reporter
For the 100 year celebration of 4H, the local 4-H clubs have set a goal to collect at least 100 items to support a good cause of their choice.
Laurella 4H Club decided to help out Kate’s Wish for Wellness and donated over one hundred pairs of socks to be added to other collected items to assemble care packages for chemo patients that may make them feel a little more comfortable. In previous years the items have been assembled into packages and donated to Chemotherapy departments in local hospitals.
Laurella 4H also continued its Memorial Day tradition and replaced over 300 flags at the Indian Orchard Cemetery, on May 23 in preparation for Memorial Day.
Laurella 4H also certified 16 members in bleeding control. The Stop the Bleed course was presented during the club meeting on May 22, 2019.
Laurella 4H has many graduating seniors this year, all with great after graduation plans of working, attending college or military service.
By Kaylem Kresge, Laurella News Reporter
Having the centennial event in mind, the News reporter was tasked with finding out some information about the Laurella 4H club. Some tips from leaders and older members of the group advised that the leader who started the Laurella 4H Club was John Wetmore. The club was taken over the following year by Bill and Kathy Taninies.
Bill and Kathy Taninies graciously accepted a request to be interviewed.
They invited me to their home, where they shared with me several books of pictures from their 4H activities, newspaper clippings and awards that the club received. Under the leadership of Bill and Kathy Taninies, Laurella was named the 4H club the exhibited the most Outstanding Community Service.
Laurella received this award every year that The Taninies’ were the leaders from 1986- 1993. Bill and Kathy received an award recognizing their efforts, involvement and excellent leadership that led to this achievement for the members of the Laurella 4H club for all 8 years that they were leaders.
During the interview, I asked about what types of things led to this award, I learned about many different ways that Laurella was involved with the community. Laurella would participate in the Jaycees Halloween parade, they volunteered to hide eggs for the Easter Egg Hunts, they brought their animals to the hospital for patients to enjoy, and to the Honesdale Catholic School for those in a program called Fresh Air Kids, to enjoy. They would set up areas on Main St. during many Honesdale borough events to share their animals with the public and provide education about them. They enjoyed the presence of many guest speakers, from active military, master gardeners and the Pennsylvania game commission. After learning about the beginning of Laurella 4H, I had a few more questions for them.
What made you want to lead the Laurella 4H club?
They said they were interested in community involvement for their growing children and 4H seemed like a great way to accomplish this. They were workingdairy farmers in the county at the time.
How many members were in the first Laurella 4H club?
Where did you have your meetings?
At the Taninies’ house, and the homes of the members. Each month someone took a turn hosting the next meeting. In later years, they began using the Honesdale Catholic School and the Torrey Grange.
What types of projects were the most common?
Animal projects, many of the members were children of local farmers. They did dairy cow projects, market steer, hogs and sheep. Some members also did sewing and art projects.
What do you think is the most different between 4H then and 4H now?
How careful everyone must be has changed many rules, it would be very difficult and maybe not even allowed to set up displays of live animals in Honesdale borough today. The week of the fair we would set up our camper right outside the barns and spend the whole week there. There was no cloverbud program, (which they both agreed was a great addition.) The meetings being at members’ homes, and project tours are no longer permitted.
What is your most memorable 4H moment?
They both agreed that being recognized for their outstanding community service involvement was at the top of the list. Bill added that spending that whole week at the fair was like their family vacation. Just having that time with the kids away from the everyday life, seeing all of the completed works of months of work throughout the county, and seeing the kids realize that all their hard work on their projects was worth it was unforgettable.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Without hesitation, Kathy said, “Yes! Keep good documentation, write everything down, and take lots and lots and lots of pictures. She pointed to the piles of memories on the table and said being able to dig this stuff out and look at it brings back so many fantastic memories.”