The local “Academy Awards” for 4-H took place Saturday evening at the annual Cooke County Achievement Banquet. The event was held at the Lion’s Field House at the North Central Texas College campus.

The Achievement Banquet recognizes outstanding 4-H members that have met outstanding qualifications and requirements.

This year’s theme, “4-H Around the World,” was celebrated with tables decorated by the different 4-H groups to represent different counties around the world.

The banquet was by invitation only and youth attending the event qualified by completing the number of projects and ribbon activities to meet their junior, intermediate or senior level.

The Gold Star Award is the highest county achievement award presented each year.

Eight 4-H groups in Cooke County participate and include Woodbine (includes Callisburg), Era, Valley View, Red River (Gainesville), Lindsay, Muenster, Midnight Mustangs (horse group) and Sharpshooters (shooting group).

Karen Sawyers, 4-H Manager of the Midnight Mustangs said, “this is kind of the culmination of the year and the recognition for all their hard work.”

Ann Blessing, 4-H Manager of Red River said, “We’re very excited for the end of the year to come, but we’re also excited about the coming year and the new members that will join.”

Sawyers said that 4-H is great for the youth because, “it just teaches you to be responsible and you learn life skills and the program stresses community service.”

“It gives them goals in life,” said Blessing, “and gives them direction and purpose.”

Sawyers and Blessing said that about 40-45 percent of the youth from their groups are attending the banquet.

AgriLife Extension Agent Phyllis Griffen, head of the 4-H in Cooke County, said after the banquet, “I think it went great. This is their Oscar’s.”

“Yes, it does take awhile, because there are so many kids involved,” said Griffen.

Griffen said that she thinks it’s great that the kids conduct the meeting. “They are up there taking charge.”

The Achievement Banquet brings to an end the previous year and ushers in the new 4-H year to start Sept. 1.

“We look forward to another great year,” said Griffen.

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