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Youth showcase speaking talents at 4-H event

Students prepare and do well at 4-H public speaking event held in Sturgis.
Members of the Rusty Spurs 4–H Light Horse Club based out of Sturgis held their public speaking event on Feb. 25. From left, were: (back) Brea Babiarz, Tristen Betaty, Alexander Neilson, Maggie Bartel and Savannah Neilson and, (front) Georgia Van Nieuwenhuyze, Arianna Neilson, Jaxon Neilson, Karlie Boychuk and Jinny Schapansky.

STURGIS - The Rusty Spurs 4–H Light Horse Club, based out of Sturgis, held its club level public speaking showcase at the Sturgis Composite School on Feb. 25. Club members gathered in front of family, friends and a panel of judges to perform speeches they had written.

“We had 10 out of our 12 members give their speeches in front of the judges, family and friends,” stated Lisa Neilson, club leader. “Alexander Neilson, club president, was our emcee for the afternoon.  We had three different categories in which two Cloverbuds, three juniors and five intermediates performed their speeches,” said Neilson.

In the cloverbud category, the winner was Arianna Neilson. In the junior category; Karlee Bochuck placed first, Jinny Schapansky place second and Jaxon Neilson came in third. In the intermediate category, Maggie Bartel won first, Alexander Neilson placed second and Savannah Neilson finished third.

First and second place finishers in all categories moved on to districts held on March 3 in Norquay. Alexander Neilson, who had placed second in the intermediate category, decided to not participate in districts and Savannah Neilson will be attending in his place, as she was the third place winner.

Lisa Neilson, the club’s general leader, stated that she is very proud of each and every speaker, as she knows this is not easy an easy thing to do for some.

The Rusty Spurs 4-H Light Horse Club was re-organized in October of 2023, after some discussion parents that have been in other 4-H horse clubs decided to bring 4-H back to the Sturgis/Preeceville area. The decision means members will be offered, “the 4-H experience that they should have. 4-H is more than just having a project. It’s about learn to do by doing, making friends, and participating in 4-H activities.”

There is a no animal/no problem program that 4-H also offers.  

“Like any new clubs, operational cost is always a factor but we are going to do our best to keep the club fees as low as we can so everyone can afford it and have a great 4-H experience,” concluded Neilson.

The Rusty Spurs Club was started in 1979-1980 and annually presented its members with trophies and awards during its windup evening. The club folded in 2003.