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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

Leona Mast Family

Collectively, the Leona Mast family has 94 different individuals who have been 4-H members, leaders, or volunteers.  42 of them are able to be here tonight to share in this honor. Although Leona herself was never a 4-H member, she realized the positive impact the program had on youth and became a 4-H leader in 1958.  Since then, the Mast family has amassed 821 years of 4-H club membership and 90 years of serving as 4-H club leaders.

Read more

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
    1301 W. Gregory Dr.
    203 Mumford Hall
    Urbana, IL 61801
  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.