Posted on August 24, 2015 at 9:11 AM by Global Reach
Marilyn Collins Lawler grew up on a farm in Jackson County and was a member of the Otter Creek Starlets 4-H Club for ten years. She held every office throughout that membership. As a 4-Her her favorite memories were of talks, demonstrations, club Christmas parties and camps, but mostly, the creativity that 4-H sparked. She attended the County Fair, day camps at Bellevue State Park, annual Rally Nights, Conservation Camp, Leadership Conference, and was involved in the exchange program with 4-Hers from Canada. Her fair exhibits included sewing, Swedish weaving, foods, art and restorations of the mailbox and picnic tables at home.
The activities and skills she developed as a youth continued when her three children actively participated in the Table Mound Express 4-H Club, where she was a project leader in Food and Nutrition. Marilyn was involved with local achievement shows, demonstrations, camps at Swiss Valley, photography and baking workshops, as well as assisting the leaders and club members however needed.
In 2000, Dubuque County Fair Board and Dubuque County Extension members approached Marilyn and two others to help create and organize a 4-H Food Stand. They cleaned, repaired, and painted the building, shopped for supplies, manned the grills and fryers, did prep work, worked with suppliers and the health inspector, and realized the tremendous support they received from 4-H families countywide. Profits from the food stand helped 4-H youth by offsetting membership dues, camp expenses, Dairy Quiz Bowl entry fees, and other costs to aid in their growth and development. The food stand committee never turned down a request for financial help involving Dubuque County 4-H.
Marilyn was inducted into the Dubuque County 4-H Hall of Fame in 2004 at the fall
4-H Awards Banquet. The Food Stand Committee planned and served the meal. It was an unexpected and delightful memory that she holds dear.
Today Marilyn continues to believe that 4-H is a trusted form of education for all youth. 4-H helps build self-esteem, leadership, communication, and life skills, along with a strong emphasis on personal creativity and responsibility. The people met on her 4-H journey have continued to teach her the values of teamwork and accountability, as well as inspiring it in others. The many friendships that Marilyn formed throughout her years in 4-H continues to enrich her life today. Marilyn is currently retired now from her “joy job” in food service at Holy Family Catholic Schools where she spent 23 years, mostly as the BAKER!!