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(Clayton, NJ) – Wallace ‘Wally’ Warren was the recent recipient of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) of Gloucester County, Award of Excellence, for his long and dedicated volunteer work for  the 4-H Youth Development program in Gloucester County.  Mr. Warren was presented the award at a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in Clayton on April 25, 2007, as part of National Volunteer Week.

In 1962 Wally and his late wife Elaine started a 4-H trail riding club and provided such wonderful experiences for their members that at one point there were 100 members; 90 girls and 10 boys. Forty-five years later Wally is still doing his best to help our 4-H members make their best better.

“For many years the Gloucester County 4-H Fair was held behind the old County Building in Clayton.  Wally and a few other dedicated volunteers decided that for the kids’ safety there had to be permanent fairgrounds with fenced rings and barns. There was not any money but that didn’t stop them.  They raised the money, purchased the grounds and Wally went to work making it into a place where all the 4-Hers could safely exhibit their projects,” Jerry Frecon, Head of the County’s Extension Services.

In presenting a plaque to Mr. Warren, Mr. Frecon read a long list of his many accomplishments to improve, expand and solicit donations for the 4-H Fairgrounds.  The Gloucester County 4-H Fair and New Jersey Peach Festival regularly attracts 25,000 to 30,000 people to the fairgrounds each July.

Freeholder Deputy Director Robert Damminger presented a proclamation from the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders that was read at the dinner in recognition of National Volunteer Week and the volunteers working with Rutgers Cooperative Extension in the 4-H Youth Development program, Master Gardeners Program, and Family and Community Health Sciences in the county.  “In 2006 thee Rutgers Cooperative Extension volunteers provided 58,655 hours of service to programs and events,” said Damminger.  “That is an astounding amount of time, and we could not put a price tag on their contributions.  There work is priceless,” the Freeholder said. 

A permanent plaque will also hang in the offices Rutgers Cooperative Extension at the Office of Government Services in Clayton listing current and prior recipients of the Award of Excellence.