4-H Canada members and supporters celebrated the 4-H Canada Leadership Awards earlier this week, in a virtual event to recognize the contributions of youth, leaders, alumni, and champions.

The event was hosted by comedian Rick Mercer and celebrated the 4-H movement across Canada. It also highlighted the resilience of the organization’s members, volunteers, and programs throughout the pandemic, the organization says.

Four young people were awarded with the Leadership Excellence Award of Distinction: Veronika Parkinson, Matthew Sterling, Amanda McGillivray, and Morgan Hussey. These four award winners were paired with high-profile mentors: Ryan Hrelijac, founder of the Ryan’s Well Foundation; Warren Bills, a 4-H alumnus and CEO of Simplified of Convergence Growth Inc.; Senator Stanley Kutcher, psychiatrist and professor; and Elly Vandenberg, director of the Global Office Canada for the United Nations World Food Programme.

Other honourees of the night included Carol Williams, a volunteer leader; Lyle Vanclief, former Minister of Agriculture and alumnus; and Duane Bristow and Nancy Orr, who have both committed years to advancing the 4-H movement.

The Leadership Awards event is also a fundraiser, and this year over $40,000 was raised for the Canadian 4-H Foundation to ensure programming continues across Canada.

“While we couldn’t gather together this year, we were excited by the way in which the 4-H community still came together to recognize the achievements of some truly incredible 4-H youth, volunteers, alumni, and champions,” says Shannon Benner, CEO of 4-H Canada. “The support for this event is an incredible reflection of the support that exists for the 4-H mission to empower youth to become responsible, caring, and contributing leaders that effect positive change in the world around them.”

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