Aug 20, 2013 4:34 PM by MELISSA CANONE

First Lady Award presented to Virgie Foreman of Vermilion Parish

The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana's Children is excited to announce that our latest recipient of a First Lady Award is Ms. Virgie Foreman of the Vermilion 4-H. This award is presented periodically to an exceptional individual who is dedicated to bettering the lives of children in Louisiana.

First Lady Supriya Jindal said, "In recognition of all of the hard work provided for countless years to young 4-Hers in Vermilion Parish, as well as to 4-Hers around the state, I am honored to present Virgie Foreman with a First Lady Award." Mrs. Jindal continued, "Ms. Virgie is a sincere and energetic individual who is always striving to assist youth in our communities. Through her 61 years of volunteerism with the Vermillion Parish 4-H, she has exemplified excellence and compassion through her dedication to young students. All who know her say she serves as a tremendous role model - both for students, as well as other adults who witness her in action."

As a 4-H volunteer, she has served in many capacities. From judging contests to mentoring students, her positive attitude and conscientious demeanor brings about the best in all. As a wife, mother of three, grandmother of ten, as well as a great grandmother of seventeen, Ms. Virgie is very passionate about helping young people better their lives. In addition to her 61 years of service to the Vermillion Parish 4-H, she has served as a 4-H club organizational leader at Indian Bayou Elementary for the last 25 years. Through her efforts, she has assisted hundreds of children in exploring opportunities in 4-H.

Ms. Virgie has also served as President of the Vermilion Parish Association for Family and Community Education. During her term, Ms. Virgie helped to establish a scholarship fund that is awarded annually to a student enrolled in Agriculture or in a Home Economics related field. To date, 26 Vermilion Parish kids have benefited from the scholarship. She still serves on the fundraising and selection committees for this Scholarship Fund.

Furthermore, Ms. Virgie has held a three-year Chairman position as well as a three-year Vice Chairman position on the Vermilion Parish 4-H Foundation, during which the foundation raised $75,000 used to operate the parish 4-H program.

Other projects Ms. Virgie has participated in over her extensive career as a 4-H volunteer are judging parish Cookery Contests, Demonstration Day, Personal Development Contest, Record Book Judging, and Achievement Day.
She is also active in her community and local churches: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Leroy and St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Maurice, where she has taught catechism for many years.

Mrs. Jindal said, "I would like to also congratulate Ms. Virgie for being selected this year into the National 4-H Hall of Fame." The National 4-H Hall of Fame honorees are nominated by their states based upon their exceptional leadership at the local, state, national and international levels. Each year the Hall of Fame laureates are recognized for their lifetime achievements and contributions to 4-H during a ceremony at the National 4-H Center, Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Mr. Terril Faul, former professor for the 4-H Youth and Family Development Department at LSU's AgCenter, stated, "Ms. Virgie Foreman is the ultimate individual that one would consider worthy of a First Lady Award for her work with kids. She is genuine and sincere in her efforts to assist the youth, always putting them first. She absolutely believes that we were all put on this earth to do the best we can to the best of our abilities with a positive attitude. She believes helping a young person to develop life skills is more than just building knowledge in a technical subject matter; it involves different experiences, events, and social settings to shape the young person into a competent and caring adult."

"Mrs. Virgie is a great leader who leads by example. She has always been very patient and kind when working with others. She has a talent of making everyone feel comfortable and at ease," said Michelle Gaspard, a Vermilion Parish 4-H volunteer, mother of 4-H members, and a former Vermilion Parish 4-H member. "You always feel at home when you are with Mrs. Virgie. I am amazed how she notices and makes a point to compliment people when they have done well. Growing up in 4-H I would periodically get cards of encouragement from Mrs. Virgie with a newspaper clipping she had cut out. That act of caring and kindness meant the world to me. You can imagine my delighted surprise when she sent my boys, who are in 4-H, cards of encouragement with newspaper clippings. Mrs. Virgie is one of the most selfless people I know. She is always giving of herself and never asks for anything in return. She will always hold a very special place in my heart," Gaspard continued.

Kemberly Johnson, former Vermilion Parish 4-H member and presently Vernon Parish Extension Agent, said, "Mrs. Virgie is one of the key reasons I am a 4-H Agent today. Her love, support, and encouragement for me to step out of my box as a shy, insecure small town girl brought me into a whole new world of opportunities. Because of her I wanted to be that for others. She will always hold a special place in my heart."

"Mrs. Virgie's volunteer legacy is outstanding, not only because of the length of her service, but because of the level of compassion she has always shown for young people," said Shannon Waits, former Vermilion Parish 4-H member and presently Vermilion Parish Extension Agent. Waits continued, "She has a genuine spirit of giving and unending amounts of energy. Her dedication to the 4-H program is extremely admirable and we have held her up as an example for other leaders to follow. Without a doubt, Mrs. Virgie has helped to make the best better through her volunteer efforts with the 4-H program."

"I very much enjoy being a 4-H volunteer," said Ms. Virgie. "I don't plan on retiring from the 4-H Program because I love working with the children. It's amazing to see them grow and develop into positive and dependable citizens. As a servant leader, I always put the children before myself. I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some great youth who learn about responsibility, dependability, and work ethnicity."

Ms. Virgie received a certificate of appreciation, a gift basket from Raising Cane, a gift card from Chili's Grill & Bar Restaurant, a gift card from Don's Seafood Hut, a gift card from Barnes and Noble, and a gift card from Walmart. Additionally, Ms. Virgie's name will be placed in a drawing in which one winner will be randomly chosen to receive the grand prize of a four-day cruise for two compliments of Carnival Cruise Lines.



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