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Joy Sparks Spirit of 4-H Award

The Joy Sparks Award is given in memory of Joy G. Sparks, past State 4-H Program Leader. Sparks was a lifelong Delaware 4-H member. She embodied what it meant to be a 4-H’er and used her Head, Heart, Hands, and Health to better herself and her community. Award recipients are selected based on their contributions to the 4-H program and keeping Spark’s Spirit of 4-H alive.

This year’s winner for Sussex County is Mrs. Gail Tipton of Laurel. Tipton’s 15-year involvement as a volunteer 4-H leader and dedication was noted.

As a volunteer, Tipton served in many roles including co-chairing numerous committees including: Clothing Showcase and the Spaghetti Dinner and Auction. Tipton is a member of the Sussex County Order of Links, a 4-H alumni organization, where she has helped with the Pumpkin Contest, Winter Fun Day and Spring Fair. She has been an active member of the Sussex Leaders’ Association, where she currently serves as president.

Tipton revived the Sewing Workshops in Sussex County. Working with other leaders, she helped develop beginner sewing classes and lessons. She has also been the monitor during the Foods Judging Contest where she helps keep the members organized and on-task. This past year, she led 4-H’s Foods Judging Team Training prior to the Delaware State Fair and did a fantastic job preparing our members who placed First and Second in the State!

Jill Jackson, Sussex County 4-H agent said at the ceremony, “Gail is always willing to lend a hand and has a lot of great ideas and input! Please join me in thanking Gail Tipton for her dedication to Sussex County 4-H. There is little doubt that Gail will continue to inspire “To Make the Best Better.”

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