The 4-H Diamond Clover Award is the highest level of achievement any 4-H member may attain. It’s the 6th level of accomplishment in this award area. In addition to completing a series of 4-H goals, they must also complete a 100-hour community service project. The 4-H member must leave a lasting impact in their community, have their project approved by a series of committees, complete 100 hours of their own work, and meet a series of self-established goals. The 4-H member has two years to complete their project.

Paul Roscoe of Lyons is the first Burt County 4-H member to complete the total Diamond Clover Award with his 4-H Community Service Project. This award was presented at the 4-H awards program Friday evening during the Burt County fair. Paul was unable to attend the presentation of this award, but he told me to go ahead and present it without him, as he is at camp – and isn’t looking for the limelight that much.

His project focused on the fourth “H” of the 4-H pledge, Health. He learned about a Christian non-profit organization called Mercy Ships. Mercy Ships brings help and healing to third-world countries. They operate on donations, both private and corporate. The current boat that is operating is known as “Africa Mercy” This is a volunteer organization.

Some of the medical conditions that Mercy Ships treat are cleft palate or lip, bowed or twisted legs and feet, tumor removal surgery, cataracts that get so extreme that patients are blind, burn surgery and therapy.

Before surgery, many of these medical conditions have made the patients social outcasts. Many cultures believe that they have been cursed, and want nothing to do with them.

Not only does the medical team perform surgeries to residents of the countries, but they also renovate hospitals and train people within the country onboard the ship or even patients, so that after they leave, health care can continue in that country.

These people are extremely poor in these countries and are attempting to exist on less than $1/day.

Paul chose to raise money for this very worthwhile organization and he FAR EXCEEDED the goals he set for himself. To raise money he spoke at 7 different church services, not only giving a special talk, but often giving the whole sermon on mercy as a fill-in pastor! He and his family worked at the Lee Valley Auction concession stand. He also spoke to PEO and library groups. Donations were given at each of these events which ended up raising over $5397. He also had 375 cards made and colored by 4-H members and young people across the county, 57 life kit care packages were assembled for children on board Mercy Ships and awareness was raised for the project through radio reports, newspaper articles.

Paul did an outstanding job with this project.

The Burt County 4-H Council awarded him a check for $100 for completing this project and earning the 4-H Diamond Clover Award.

We want to sincerely congratulate Paul Roscoe for successfully improving the health of the world through his 4-H Diamond Clover project.