Posted on August 23, 2021 at 10:30 AM by Emily Saveraid
Bonnie Sorenson’s caring heart and passion for 4-H learning was the driving force behind her 40 years of volunteering in Boone County. She started as a 4-H club leader of the Boxholm Busy Bees in 1982. At the time, this was an all-girls club of which her daughter was an active member. In 1991, she became a leader of the Pilot’s Peppy Pals and Eagles 4-H Club, a co-ed club that all of her children joined. Bonnie remained a club leader there until 2005. Over her 23 years as a club leader, she showed a multitude of 4-H’ers how to make the best better in their own lives.
Bonnie saw the positive impact 4-H had on youth and wanted to see its reach grow. This led her to serve a four-year term on the Boone County 4-H Youth Committee, which oversaw many aspects of the program including member workshops, record keeping, and program budgeting. After that role, she became the assistant sheep superintendent, and gladly served in that position for the next 26 years.
Bonnie is very knowledgeable about raising sheep and enjoys sharing this expertise with 4-H’ers. She is committed to ensuring Boone County’s youth sheep program is a positive experience for all those involved. To help provide a great exhibition at the county fair, she maintained a strong communication link with the Boone County Fair Board. They appreciated her dedication and recruited her as a member in 1999.
As a parent, Bonnie enjoyed helping her kids with their 4-H projects. She was also quick to lend a hand to other 4-H’ers as they grew in their own project areas. Bonnie especially enjoyed encouraging members to attend and exhibit at the Iowa State Fair. Her own family camped there, so she would haul kids down with them and be their mentor while there. For this reason, she was lovingly known as the “State Fair Mom”.
Bonnie continues to be an integral part of sheep exhibition in Boone County as an assistant superintendent and Fair Board member. She is always at the shows cheering on the kids, and doing any task asked of her, even when her health is limiting. She has also taken on the role of 4-H grandma with great pride and looks forward to helping guide this next generation through their own 4-H careers.
Over the last 40 years, Bonnie’s volunteer roles have changed, new groups of kids have come and gone, and countless sheep have been exhibited, but her commitment to being present and available has stayed strong. Bonnie will be remembered and appreciated by many generations of 4-H’ers.