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Fairbanks leader receives regional 4-H volunteer award

Fairbanks, Alaska—A Fairbanks 4-H leader has received one of two top volunteer awards presented by 4-H in the western United States.

Becky Osimowicz was recognized Jan. 15 as the Western Region 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year. She received the award, which is presented to one leader with less than 10 years of service, during a 4-H leaders’ forum in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Osimowicz serves as co-leader of the Amour de Cheval 4-H Club, which is devoted to all things horses. Members raise and show horses, and compete in trail rides and a Jeopardy-style horse bowl. They also volunteer for a multitude of community service projects. Her teenage daughters, Emma and Cora, are members of the horse club. Cora also raises pigs.

Osimowicz says she likes 4-H because it provides good activities for young people. “I just like seeing the kids having fun and succeeding.”

Tanana District 4-H agent Marla Lowder credits the leader for broadening the horse program for young people who want to improve their skills but do not want to show their horses. Osimowicz organized a community play day, which turned into a weekly gymkhana summer skills event that raises enough to money to rent an arena for practice. Osimowicz also serves on the district 4-H Horse and Leaders councils and on the Tanana Valley State Fair Board. She also works part-time as a school district reading tutor.

Lowder said Osimowicz is very organized and committed to 4-H. While the 4-H framework helps volunteers to offer activities, Lowder said, “they step out and they make it happen.”

Two other Tanana District 4-H leaders have also won the award in the past three years.

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