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Family Spirit Award

Recognizing an Illinois family who has substantially benefited from and who continues to advocate for the Illinois 4-H program over multiple generations.

To be nominated, a family must have a minimum of:

  • three generations of representation
  • 15 different family members (including in-laws) that have either been 4-H members, leaders, or volunteers
  • 100 cumulative years of 4-H membership or volunteerism

Selection will be based on:

  • Total number of family members with 4-H connections
  • Total number of years in 4-H involvement
  • Diversity of experiences and recognitions earned by the 4-H members
  • The collective impact that family members have made as advocates of their respective county and state 4-H programs
  • The collective family's involvement in community service and belief in philanthrophy to the 4-H program
Meet one of our winners

J. Miles and Maribel McGrew Family

J. Miles and Maribel McGrew had a family of eleven children, plus another boy who needed care.  One evening a family of five stopped at the McGrew farm looking for help, a job, a place to stay, or gas to drive a little farther.  Maribel, about to put supper on the table, gathered her children: "We can give them a little gas and send them on their way.  Or, if each of you cuts your piece of meat in half, they can join us for supper."  "We'll share!" was the unanimous answer.  After supper, cots were set up so the family could stay the night.

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Previous Winners

Nomination Process

  1. The family member taking the lead on the nomination should complete the online nomination form. This form will notify the Illinois 4-H Foundation that you will be submitting a complete nomination via the mail by May 1.
  2. Complete as many copies of the Family Member Biography Form as needed so each family member is listed on a separate form.
  3. Complete a Family Summary Form to compile the family's total number of years of participation in each category.
  4. Provide a one page/five hundred word typed "Family 4-H Story" reflecting on how 4-H has impacted your family and how your family has supported 4-H.
  5. Mail a cover page, (which should include the family name as you would want it to appear on the award, name of nominator (or contact person), email address, home address, and phone number), all individual family biography forms, the family summary form, and the family 4-H story to:
    Illinois 4-H Foundation
    801 N. Country Fair Drive, Suite E
    Champaign, IL 61821
  6. Please staple or clip your submission. No binders or books, please. One joint family photograph, if available, may be submitted, but is not required. All submissions are combined into one binder for review by selection committee.
  7. Applications will be judged based upon this scoring rubric.
  8. Applications will be considered for three years at a time. After three years, the family is allowed to re-submit an application.
  9. The deadline is May 1.

Winners will be recognized at the Illinois State Fair, on the Illinois 4-H Foundation website, and in the annual Cloverseed.


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