Marshall County 4-H Volunteers
Inducted November 12, 2009
In a speech made several years ago at the Southern Region Leader Forum at Rock Eagle, Carol Williams said she and Tommy were the highest-paid 4-H volunteers in the United States. They are paid in something that money cannot buy-the love, the smiles, and the admiration of children.
Tommy’s involvement in 4-H began in 1956 with a little bluebird house. Carol’s involvement started in 1955 with a fourth-place win in the apron contest, never mind that there were only four entrants. They knew from experience that 4-H was an excellent youth program.
Their service and awards are widespread: years of Local involvement, a five-year presidency of the Alabama 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association, the first Salute of Excellence winner, a top 10 winner in the International 4-H Volunteer Award, and the winners of the Alabama 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award.
“It all boils down to love and self-esteem,” says Carol, adding that her most prestigious award in 4-H is a tiny (erased and used) valentine that she received from a 4-H’er. “I hope in some small way that l have taught the world to sing in perfect harmony and opened a child’s eyes.”
The Williamses have been 4-H volunteers in Marshall County for more than 30 years. They have judged everything from demonstrations to woodworking to Chicken-Que. They have represented Alabama and Marshall County at national conferences, have helped to organize fish and wildlife camps in Marshall County, and have helped to plan hundreds of volunteer leader retreat activities on both a state and regional level.
The two are presently certified in the Air Rifle and Shotgun discipline. They are in their third year of the newly formed Marshall County 4-H Sharpshooter’s Club. The club has 10 members including their grandson, Trey, who is president.
They embody the old saying that Carol uses in speeches, “Volunteers are good for nothing, they are priceless!”
Nominated by Kerry Quinn and Amy Burgess