Resident gives back to the 4H club

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Guests at Marsha Lefkovits&8217; 50th birthday reception didn&8217;t know who to congratulate first, Marsha or her mother.

For her 50th birthday, the former Columbiana resident and avid childhood 4-Her established a 4-H scholarship award in honor and memory of her parents, Norman and Sonya Lefkovits. At Sunday&8217;s reception, the Lefkovits family, 4-H region and state officials and Columbiana friends officially celebrated the award at the John E. Jones Agricultural Center.

&8220;It&8217;s just unbelievable, it&8217;s just absolutely wonderful. She has just been the best daughter in the world,&8221; gushed Sonya. &8220;I&8217;m very gratified that she was wiling to give back in the community.&8221;

Marsha learned the importance of giving back to the community from her parents. She said, &8220;Mom and dad were very active in Columbiana&8217;s early beginnings. That&8217;s sort of what started it. I wanted to do something with citizenship and to just kinda say &8216;Thanks mom and dad,&8217; for the first fifty years of my life.&8221;

Marsha now continues the Lefkovits legacy by starting the $1,000 scholarship, to be awarded once a year to a Shelby County 4-Her in eleventh grade.

Marsha chose to give back through 4-H since, while growing up, &8220;4-H was an important part of my life for ten years.&8221; &8220;The skills and values learned have provided me a foundation to handle life&8217;s experiences,&8221; she said.

During her time in 4-H, Marsha focused primarily on animals such as horses and dairy cows. &8220;I was a city kid though, I lived right on Main Street,&8221; she said. This didn&8217;t deter her interest in animals, however. &8220;I kept my horses across the street on my neighbors property.&8221;

With the Lefkovits scholarship, stand-out 4-H men and women will be honored for their own commitment to the community and high achievement. Speaking at her daughter&8217;s birthday reception, Sonya added, &8220;This award will help 4-Hers search for their dreams and make them come true, just as Marsha has done.&8221;

Rick Colquitt of the Shelby County 4-H Extension Office explained eligible students must be enrolled in a Shelby County 4-H program, in their junior year of high school, submit a list of accomplishments from within and outside of 4-H, and write a 250 word essay on citizenship. A four-person committee will decide each year&8217;s recipient, and the winner will be announced at the May 4-H awards program. Winner of the scholarship will be able to use the money on senior year activities or put it towards college.