By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — Susan Rhea has logged many hours as a Newkirk Go-Getter 4-H volunteer, helping Club members see a brighter future through the organization. She has now been recognized for her service at the State 4-H level, as she has received two Volunteer of the Year awards.
Rhea received the Kay County Volunteer of the Year Award and Northeast District Volunteer of the Year Award at a special luncheon on the OSU campus June 26. Another Kay County volunteer, Stacey Grosshardt, of the Blackwell OK-Okies, received the 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award.
“It’s very humbling. I appreciate it, and I enjoy 4-H and working with the kids. It is a fun time,” she said.
Rhea has been a Go-Getters volunteer for 10 years, six of which were as a certified volunteer. Rhea has two sons, Ethan and Logan, who are both active in both 4-H and FFA. Ethan graduated in May, while Logan is still active as a sophomore.
The Rheas began a decade ago when Ethan was showing livestock.
“The boys started it all. My oldest was showing livestock for a friend, and he really got involved in robotics,” she said.
The Rheas reside in Braman, and while Braman is closer to Blackwell, they chose the Go-Getters so Logan and Ethan could be more involved in Newkirk.
“I wanted my kids to meet people from Newkirk, even when (the school) was still open, so they could meet friends,” she said.
The Rheas have been active in many areas in 4-H, not just robotics and livestock, but also the Food Showdown, fundraisers and assistance with meetings.
She has spent many hours in service in part to work with children.
“I like to help; watching them grow is amazing,” she said.
Fellow Go-Getters leaders also recognized her for her service.
“She steps up and helps any way she can, in anything we do,” Go-Getters leader Lori Evans said. “She donates time, and she makes sure to bring snacks and drinks to the kids.”
As for Rhea, it’s all about volunteering, the service to the community.
“The public speaking, the community service, it’s important to give back,” she said. “It’s fascinating to see what activities attracts the kids’ attention.”