Washington County Extension Association recognizes volunteers at annual meeting

Machias, Maine — University of Maine Cooperative Extension recently hosted an annual meeting of the Washington County Extension Association (WCEA)  featuring highlights of 4-H national trips and a volunteer award ceremony on the campus of the University of Maine at Machias.

During the annual meeting of the WCEA, members and residents voted on the 2025 budget and a new slate of officers which includes Nicholas McDonald, President; Robin Pinto, Vice-President; Lisa Hanscom, Treasurer; and Heidi Hinkley, Secretary. New association members include Cathy Lookabaugh and Inez Lombardo. Members who retired from the committee included Dr. Eric Jones and Kyle Winslow.

4-H members from the Fellowship of the Cobscook Currents 4-H Club told the attendees about their recent trip to Houston, Texas to participate in the First Championship. This event is an international youth robotics competition and an annual celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Soren D. said this about the innovation project that they presented to the judges: “Our final creation was a prototype for an app that would allow people who already play role playing games to connect and then, if they were new to role playing, interest them and equip them with resources necessary to start playing.”

The Oh Yea! 4-H Grows True Leaders teens spoke about their experience attending the Ignite Conference in Washington D.C. This conference brings 4-H teens from across the country together to engage and learn. The theme this year was Imagine. Immerse. Ignite. Nathan B. spoke about trading pins with 4-H’ers from other states: “Our goal was to get as many pins from other states and groups as we could…Alaska was a hot commodity.”

A highlight of the event was the presentation of two community-focused awards: the Norman W. Duzen Community Service Award and the University of Maine Pen Award.

Recipients of the University of Maine Pen Award were Leslie Monroy and Pamela Ziolko. This award is presented to a volunteer who makes contributions in one program area of Extension. Monroy was honored for her volunteer work with the Washington County Extension Association and Ziolko for her time spent volunteering with the Master Gardener Volunteer Program.

Christopher Crowley of Beals Island was the recipient of the Norman W. Duzen Community Service Award. Heidi Hinkley, who presented the award, said, “He has devoted much of his time to the Sawyer Memorial Congregational Church and the Maine Seacoast Mission EDGE Program. He is a devoted educator, going above and beyond his regular job duties for his students. His integrity is second to none; our community is very fortunate to have him.” 

State Senator Marianne Moore was also on hand to congratulate Christopher and present him with a special legislative sentiment.

For more information about Washington County Extension and the Association, visit the county website or contact Tara Wood at 207.255.3345 or tara.a.wood@maine.edu.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension

As a trusted resource for over 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. UMaine Extension seeks to build thriving communities and grow the food-based economy, focusing on aspects from production and processing to nutrition, food safety and food security. Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H which offers hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and civic engagement and creates a positive environment where participants are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles.