4H club member takes top prize at volunteer picnic

Members representing the Lucky Leaf Livestock 4H club joined volunteers across the state on Aug. 2 at Snowshoe Resort in Pocahontas County for the 18th annual Adopt-a-Highway Volunteer Appreciation Picnic.

The event was sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection and Transportation and is held each year at various locations within the state as a way to thank volunteers for their service in litter clean-ups held around the state.

This year seven members of the club received recognition for their 15 years of service to the Adopt-a-Highway program. Those members included Jaime Swecker, Jonathan Swecker, Johnny Swecker, Brenda Swecker, Deborah Demyan, Katie Demyan and Steven Demyan. Two members received 10-year recognition. Those included Mary and Mandy Warner. Each individual recognized received a pin and a safety vest embossed with their years of service as a thank-you gift.

Festivities at the event included bingo, basket weaving, a cakewalk, children’s games and other activities. Volunteers were served lunch catered by Snowshoe. Afternoon activities included presentation of the AAH Awards and announcement of the AAH Volunteer of the Year.

This year Lucky Leaf Livestock was excited to discover a member had been chosen for the top honor at the picnic. Jonathan Swecker received the Volunteer of the Year award at the ceremony.

Swecker began his career picking up trash when he was 4 years old. While riding his tricycle his mother noticed he began picking up trash along the roadside during family walks and placing the trash in his basket on his tricycle. This gave his mother the idea to adopt the highway, which was soon taken up by the 4H club as a community service project.