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Positive Yarmouth 4-H experience leads to generous donation


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YARMOUTH – Rick Churchill eagerly rips open the envelope. But at the same time he’s got a lot of patience.

He knows there’s a donation for 4-H inside. But he doesn’t know for how much.

He’s been instructed by the sender to open the envelope in the presence of a Vanguard reporter. And so instead of opening it the minute it arrived in the mail, he makes arrangements to stop by our newsroom.

Hours later.

“Do you know what the amount is?” he asks.

“Yes,” this reporter says, while videotaping the moment for our website.

His reaction is worth capturing on video.

“Oh Wow! Holy cow!” he says, seemingly stunned by the amount of the donation. “This is unbelievable.”

The cheque was sent to Churchill by former Yarmouth resident Mandy Rennehan. Her donation to the Prince Charles 4H Club was in the amount of $5,000. Churchill says when most people give a donation by cheque, it’s usually in the amount of $100 or $200.

“Wow!” he says another time.

What Churchill doesn’t know at the time he’s opening the envelope is Rennehan intends to make this an annual donation. She shared that secret with the Vanguard too.

If you recognize Rennehan’s name its because she’s the person who has purchased the old Yarmouth jail on Main Street. She did that to give back to the community.

But for her, giving back doesn’t end there.

So why the donation to 4-H?

“To be honest, I should of made it years ago, but until I had bought the jail and was visiting home more, I guess I had time to step out of corporate city and reflect on what I thought was important to develop young people,” says Rennehan, who founded the Ontario company Freshco Maintenance and Construction in 1995.

While she’s surrounded by the tools of her trade daily, she says there are also tools that help a person become an entrepreneur: common sense, confidence and drive.

“Three of which I had from a young age, but they needed channeling and mentoring,” she says. She got that mentoring through people like Judy Nickerson, Crystal Hilton and Rick Churchill who spent countless hours with her from the age of 10 to 16 in 4-H, helping her to develop skills in time management with deadlines, guiding her through public speaking competitions, teaching her about different forms of arts and crafts, and helping her to understand about agricultural animals.

“I was very athletic growing up, I guess it was something that was natural in my household,” says Rennehan. “But 4-H made me a competitor and opened a multi-lateral function in me that that sports couldn’t have given me alone.

“Most people don’t realize that I never went to university or college and am self taught in my industry,” she adds. “But the three people I’ve mentioned were my professors and I owe a lot of my success to their selfless commitment to the 4-H program and all the kids they have touched over the years.”

And so Rennehan wants to provide a financial boost, while also drawing attention to 4-H.

Churchill knows all about the benefits of 4-H. 

He’s been a leader of 4-H for 35 years and over that time has gotten to work with many young people aged 9 to 21.

He also did 4-H as a kid and admits to something that sounds rather odd.

“I hated it as a kid, believe it or not,” he says. “The very first calf I had, all it wanted to do was jump on the other calves when I was showing her and I used to think, ‘If I can just get out of this ring, I never want to do this again.’”

Now not only is 4-H is passion, but farming is his livelihood.

“I could tell so many stories,” he says, explaining one of the biggest things that ever happened was when he was selected as a chaperone to travel with five 4-H members to the National 4-H Dairy Conference is Madison, Wisconsin in 2006.

“That was the greatest experience I ever had,” he says. By then he had already told everyone that when his son Adam finished 4-H, he’d be leaving to.

But a funny thing happened before he got to the exit door. He decided to stay.

And now his grandchildren are among the young people benefitting from the program.

“4-H is a really good youth organization,” says Churchill. “It gets kids involved in doing a project hands on. The 4-H motto is learn to do by doing.”

For those involved in 4-H, it’s something they remember their whole lives – evident by the support now being shown to local 4-H by Rennehan.

To her Churchill says, “Mandy, thank you, thank you so much. I’m so glad that you got this much out of 4-H that you’re willing to come back and donate something like this to us…Thank you very much for this tremendous donation.”

 

NOTE: Rick Churchill shared the news of the donation at the annual 4-H banquet, which was held Sunday, Oct. 5. At that banquet various awards were handed out, which included:

Top Rabbit Member- Jasmine Comeau

Top Sheep Member- Brigid Thibault

Top Dairy Member- Heather Sweeney

MIP Dairy Member- Chloe Donaldson

Top Dairy Calf- Heather Sweeney

Grand Champion Showman- Heather Sweeney

Top Light Horse Member- Chloe Donaldson

Top Scrapbooking Member- Sophia Rose

Top Crafts Member- Brad Clark

Top Beef Member- Alison Paige Perry

Top Dog Member- Julianne Rhodenizer

Top Photography Member- Ryan Churchill

4-H Merit Award- Hannah MacLeod

4-H Spirit Award- Dylan McCormack

4-H Rookie Award- Isabella Dillman

 

Top Cloverbud- Caelan Deviller

Top Junior Member- Mikaela Rhodenizer

Top Senior Member- Brad Clark

Top foods Member- Chase Deviller

Top Great Outdoors Member- Brad Clark

Top first aid Member- Jasmine Comeau

Top Computer Member- Brad Clark

Top Poultry member- Dylan McCormack

Top Woodworking Member- Dylan McCormack

Top Heritage Members- Danica and Dylan McCormack

Junior Leader Members- Danica McCormack Dylan McCormack and Brad Clark

Leader Award- Lindsay LeBlanc

Friends of 4-H awards- Alan and Carol McCormack, Joanne Fitzgerald and Cliff Gavel

YARMOUTH – Rick Churchill eagerly rips open the envelope. But at the same time he’s got a lot of patience.

He knows there’s a donation for 4-H inside. But he doesn’t know for how much.

He’s been instructed by the sender to open the envelope in the presence of a Vanguard reporter. And so instead of opening it the minute it arrived in the mail, he makes arrangements to stop by our newsroom.

Hours later.

“Do you know what the amount is?” he asks.

“Yes,” this reporter says, while videotaping the moment for our website.

His reaction is worth capturing on video.

“Oh Wow! Holy cow!” he says, seemingly stunned by the amount of the donation. “This is unbelievable.”

The cheque was sent to Churchill by former Yarmouth resident Mandy Rennehan. Her donation to the Prince Charles 4H Club was in the amount of $5,000. Churchill says when most people give a donation by cheque, it’s usually in the amount of $100 or $200.

“Wow!” he says another time.

What Churchill doesn’t know at the time he’s opening the envelope is Rennehan intends to make this an annual donation. She shared that secret with the Vanguard too.

If you recognize Rennehan’s name its because she’s the person who has purchased the old Yarmouth jail on Main Street. She did that to give back to the community.

But for her, giving back doesn’t end there.

So why the donation to 4-H?

“To be honest, I should of made it years ago, but until I had bought the jail and was visiting home more, I guess I had time to step out of corporate city and reflect on what I thought was important to develop young people,” says Rennehan, who founded the Ontario company Freshco Maintenance and Construction in 1995.

While she’s surrounded by the tools of her trade daily, she says there are also tools that help a person become an entrepreneur: common sense, confidence and drive.

“Three of which I had from a young age, but they needed channeling and mentoring,” she says. She got that mentoring through people like Judy Nickerson, Crystal Hilton and Rick Churchill who spent countless hours with her from the age of 10 to 16 in 4-H, helping her to develop skills in time management with deadlines, guiding her through public speaking competitions, teaching her about different forms of arts and crafts, and helping her to understand about agricultural animals.

“I was very athletic growing up, I guess it was something that was natural in my household,” says Rennehan. “But 4-H made me a competitor and opened a multi-lateral function in me that that sports couldn’t have given me alone.

“Most people don’t realize that I never went to university or college and am self taught in my industry,” she adds. “But the three people I’ve mentioned were my professors and I owe a lot of my success to their selfless commitment to the 4-H program and all the kids they have touched over the years.”

And so Rennehan wants to provide a financial boost, while also drawing attention to 4-H.

Churchill knows all about the benefits of 4-H. 

He’s been a leader of 4-H for 35 years and over that time has gotten to work with many young people aged 9 to 21.

He also did 4-H as a kid and admits to something that sounds rather odd.

“I hated it as a kid, believe it or not,” he says. “The very first calf I had, all it wanted to do was jump on the other calves when I was showing her and I used to think, ‘If I can just get out of this ring, I never want to do this again.’”

Now not only is 4-H is passion, but farming is his livelihood.

“I could tell so many stories,” he says, explaining one of the biggest things that ever happened was when he was selected as a chaperone to travel with five 4-H members to the National 4-H Dairy Conference is Madison, Wisconsin in 2006.

“That was the greatest experience I ever had,” he says. By then he had already told everyone that when his son Adam finished 4-H, he’d be leaving to.

But a funny thing happened before he got to the exit door. He decided to stay.

And now his grandchildren are among the young people benefitting from the program.

“4-H is a really good youth organization,” says Churchill. “It gets kids involved in doing a project hands on. The 4-H motto is learn to do by doing.”

For those involved in 4-H, it’s something they remember their whole lives – evident by the support now being shown to local 4-H by Rennehan.

To her Churchill says, “Mandy, thank you, thank you so much. I’m so glad that you got this much out of 4-H that you’re willing to come back and donate something like this to us…Thank you very much for this tremendous donation.”

 

NOTE: Rick Churchill shared the news of the donation at the annual 4-H banquet, which was held Sunday, Oct. 5. At that banquet various awards were handed out, which included:

Top Rabbit Member- Jasmine Comeau

Top Sheep Member- Brigid Thibault

Top Dairy Member- Heather Sweeney

MIP Dairy Member- Chloe Donaldson

Top Dairy Calf- Heather Sweeney

Grand Champion Showman- Heather Sweeney

Top Light Horse Member- Chloe Donaldson

Top Scrapbooking Member- Sophia Rose

Top Crafts Member- Brad Clark

Top Beef Member- Alison Paige Perry

Top Dog Member- Julianne Rhodenizer

Top Photography Member- Ryan Churchill

4-H Merit Award- Hannah MacLeod

4-H Spirit Award- Dylan McCormack

4-H Rookie Award- Isabella Dillman

 

Top Cloverbud- Caelan Deviller

Top Junior Member- Mikaela Rhodenizer

Top Senior Member- Brad Clark

Top foods Member- Chase Deviller

Top Great Outdoors Member- Brad Clark

Top first aid Member- Jasmine Comeau

Top Computer Member- Brad Clark

Top Poultry member- Dylan McCormack

Top Woodworking Member- Dylan McCormack

Top Heritage Members- Danica and Dylan McCormack

Junior Leader Members- Danica McCormack Dylan McCormack and Brad Clark

Leader Award- Lindsay LeBlanc

Friends of 4-H awards- Alan and Carol McCormack, Joanne Fitzgerald and Cliff Gavel

Rick Churchill holds a cheque in the amount of $5,000, a donation to the local 4-H by former participant Mandy Rennehan. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

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