Posted on August 28, 2017 at 9:15 AM by Emily Saveraid
Understanding the importance of 4-H in her own life and wanting that for her two daughters, Denise Flaherty of Graettinger became a 4-H leader of the Walnut Willing Workers 4-H Club in Palo Alto County in 1982. She gave leadership to that club for approximately ten years. Twelve years later when her grandchildren and nieces were of 4-H age she volunteered to be a 4-H leader for another ten years, this time for the Graettinger Pirates 4-H Club.
During those years of leadership the Graettinger Pirates won community service awards in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013. Some of their bigger projects included fundraising for the replacement of the flooring in the basement of the American Legion in Graettinger, varnishing four new park signs, getting a grant to purchase flags for the Graettinger City Council Chamber and to do some landscaping and install a flag and pole in front of City Hall, assembling four sets of bleachers, getting a grant for a new town sign and helping with the landscaping around it, getting a grant to purchase new tennis nets for the town’s tennis court, helping with the landscaping, planting trees, and purchasing a bench for the swimming pool, and holding a teen dance with all proceeds going to the Graettinger ambulance service. In 2004 Denise was presented an Alumni Award at our annual awards banquet for her dedication to the 4-H program.
From 2002-2010 Denise held the position of Office Manager for the Palo Alto County Extension office. She was credited for making the office run smoothly, doing everything from answering the phone, to sending out correspondence, to paying bills, to working with 4-Hers and their families, to organizing meetings and luncheons, and all other duties as assigned. She was a great asset to the office.
In 2013 Denise was elected to the Palo Alto County Extension Council where she served for 2 years. At that time she also volunteered to be on the 4-H Youth Committee and presently continues to be a member of that committee.
Denise was born and raised in Emmetsburg, IA. She married Mike Flaherty in 1973. They had two daughters, Angie and Christy, both who were very active in the Palo Alto County 4-H program with Angie currently being employed by Palo Alto County Extension as a Program Coordinator. Denise also has three grandchildren currently in the 4-H program. In her spare time she enjoys being with family, going to craft shows, and following all her grandchildren’s school and other activities.
Palo Alto County is proud and honored to have Denise as their 2017 honoree to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame.