Local members to attend national 4-H Congress

Gage County 4-H members make us continually proud! Congratulations to Gage County 4-H members, Jetta Harvey, Nathan Lancaster and Josiah Harvey, for winning the record book competition to represent Nebraska at national 4-H Congress, to be held in Atlanta, Ga. Nov. 24-28. They join over 800 delegates from the United States and its territories. This event not only recognizes excellence but provides an educational opportunity, workshops, entertainment, sight-seeing and a service-learning project. Thank you to these youth and their parents for outstanding project work, leadership and community service.

4-H council serves Gage County

Among my many blessings is networking with youth and adult volunteers who serve on the 4-H council: Andrea Humphreys, Lauren Trauernicht, Ashtyn Humphreys and Jana Mullins, all of Wymore; Christina Lyons, Emily Rempel and Lisa Oltmans, all of Beatrice; Kaitlyn Otto of Firth; Karen Stohs of Odell; Savannah Gerlach and Cara White, both of DeWitt; as well as Heidi Price of Pickrell; and Karla Holland of Filley.

2018 Ag Society celebrates outgoing member

At the November annual meeting, Gage County Ag Society thanked outgoing board member, John Weichel, for his years of service. Newly-elected board member is Kim Witulski of Beatrice, with ongoing board members, Sue Bishop, Don Esau, Lisa Wiegand, Matt Uher, Brian Hamel, Roger Henrichs, Steve Whitwer, Bryan Cook, Dustin Fritch, Loren Trauernicht, Colleen Herfel, John McKeever, Scott Parde and Derek Koenig. We appreciate the service these men and women and their spouses give to youth and families in Gage County and southeast Nebraska.

Thanks and giving

Thanksgiving: a celebration of goodness, appreciation for life’s blessings and gratitude. The season provides us the opportunity for thanks and giving. It’s a day to be thankful for the past and grateful for today. It's a chance to be the person who gives to others because of the abundance in your life. Michael Josephson stated, “Feelings of gratitude don’t come easy in a world where we take so much for granted and think we deserve everything we have.”

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 and lasted for three days. “The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than those who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving,” (H.U. Westermayer). Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday in 1863.

This week will find us celebrating with family and friends, traveling, enjoying days off work, consuming excessive amounts of food, shopping, spending time outdoors or cheering on our favorite teams. Erma Bombeck said, “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not a coincidence.”

Many people volunteer during the holidays; it’s a great time to give back. Helping others can actually improve our mental and physical health. A Vanderbilt University study found that those who participated in some type of volunteer work were happier, less likely to be depressed and had better physical health.

Choose your favorite charity. Offer to help a neighbor. Volunteer at a food pantry, senior center, your local school or community agency. Think of giving back as a privilege.

Every day is a gift. Remind yourself how good you have it by finding ways to help others in need. Know your gifts and share them. If you continually give, you will continually have. It costs zero dollars to be grateful for what we have.

To you at Thanksgiving

May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump, may your potatoes and gravy  never have a lump. May your yams be delicious, and your pies take the prize. And may your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs!

Simple inspirations: “Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing,” (Zig Ziglar).