Note to Editors: A biography of Hazel Gardner follows this release. A print-quality photo is available upon request.
Hazel Gardner, a longtime 4-H volunteer, will be recognized as the 2004 recipient of the Colorado State University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Cooperative Extension Award at the awards dinner May 7.
Gardner was a member of 4-H for eight years as a teenager and has volunteered in Yuma County for the organization for 53 years.
"Hazel’s countless hours of involvement and leadership in 4-H has benefited so many," said Joy Akey, Colorado State Cooperative Extension family and consumer sciences agent. "She has definitely had a hand in helping youth develop to their full potential as productive citizens in our society."
Among her contributions, she started a 4-H club in the fall of 1950. In 1968 her club helped organize a blood bank and received recognition from Reader’s Digest. Gardner has served as county leader adviser several times and was state vice chairman on the state Leader Advisory Executive Council for two years. She has chaperoned county members to Camp Tobin at the Colorado State Fair for several years, has judged contests in the county and has set up classes for about 20 years.
Gardner has taken on many projects while a 4-H member, including sewing, foods, forestry, poultry, garden, safety, home beautification, first aid, home nursing, pigs and junior leadership. As a 4-H’er, she served as secretary-treasurer for three years, vice president, reporter and president in the local 4-H club and was district vice president for one year. As a volunteer adult leader, she made 37 local and 36 county exhibits, gave 11 demonstrations, was in eight judging contests, four dress revues and four health activities while in 4-H.
In 1981, Gardner’s 4-H club received the top award for their efforts in the 4-H Community Pride Program. They joined with Burlington Northern and the town of Eckley to successfully acquire railroad crossarms.
Gardner has been a member of Family and Consumer Educators for 53 years, filling every office in her local club, several county offices including president, district director, state family and consumer educators president and vice president of public policy. She has also been involved at the national level.
Gardner served on the Yuma County Fair board for 20 years as one of the first women on the board and was superintendent in the home economics department.
Distinguished Cooperative Extension
Hazel M. Gardner
Hazel Gardner’s involvement in 4-H began with her entrance into the Jolly Sisters 4-H Club at age nine. By sixteen she had completed thirteen projects in many areas of expertise. Today she can be proudly proclaimed a 4-H member with over sixty years of dedicated service. At the fifty-year mark she was recognized for her extensive participation at a banquet in her honor during which she received a diamond bracelet as a token of the organization’s gratitude.
Mrs. Gardner’s honors and achievements began as a state 4-H winner for her invention of a more efficient way to clean the cream separator, Master Farm Homemaker of Colorado 1976, Colorado State FCE President for three years and National Vice-President of Public Policy. She participates on many boards and committees including Vice President of Yuma County Republican Women, member of Yuma County Cattlewomen, Treasurer for the National Master Farm Homemakers, the Eckley Oil and Land Co., and her local church. In the fall of 1950 she established Happy Cookies 4-H Club for young girls. Some of their accomplishments have been to secure area railroad crossarms, to create a walking blood bank, and to donate cribs for local hospitals. Hazel was also one of the first female members of the Yuma County Fair Board, an organization with which she has been involved for over twenty years.
Hazel’s life is one of true passion and commitment. Her accomplishments are an exemplary model of the success which comes as a result of much hard work and dedication.