Janet Ritchie: Marion County
This year’s recipient is Janet Ritchie of Knoxville. Ritchie is the current 4-H leader of the County Crusaders 4-H Club and has served 4-H as a volunteer leader in Marion County for over 48 years. Ritchie was nominated by 4-H club member, Jenny Petersen.
Petersen says, “Janet never wanted us to settle for mediocre. She always pushed us to make our best better. She made us appreciate life and to never take anything for granted. We have a lot more to be grateful for than we realize.”
In 2014, after developing blood poisoning, Ritchie was forced to have both of her hands and feet amputated. Despite the challenges of adapting to prosthetic limbs, Ritchie has continued to serve the 4-H’ers of her club and county with enthusiasm.
“She (Ritchie) has shown our community just how strong and courageous she is. The youth were especially influenced by her optimistic attitude, despite all that she has been through,” said Petersen.
Not only does Ritchie serve as a 4-H club leader, but she also is the Rabbit Superintendent at the Marion County Fair. An active volunteer, Ritchie also is a member of a number of community and committees including the Marion County Historical Society, Pioneer Cemetery, Indian Hills Rabbit Club, VFW Ladies Auxiliary among others.