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Lily Stubbs was recognized as the 4-H Lifetime Volunteer of the Year at the recent 4-H Parent-Volunteer Conference that took place on the Oklahoma State University-Stillwater campus. She also was recognized as the Southeast District Volunteer of the Year. Presenting the award is Steve Beck, Oklahoma 4-H program leader. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)

Stubbs named 4-H Lifetime Volunteer of the Year

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Media Contact: Trisha Gedon | Communications Specialist | 405-744-3625 |

For Lily Stubbs, 4-H is a way of life. Having dedicated 17 years as a volunteer with the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development program — 14 of which with certification — she is a cornerstone of Cleveland County 4-H.

Her hard work and dedication were recognized at the recent 2021 Parent-Volunteer Conference that took place on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater when she was named the 4-H Lifetime Volunteer of the Year, as well as the Southeast District Volunteer of the Year. This lifetime award is presented to a volunteer with at least 10 years of service.

Her volunteerism began with the Little Axe 4-H Cloverbuds when her now-college-age children, Joseph and Jebidiah, were young. Little did she know at the time that her 4-H volunteer career was going to lead her to a lifetime of 4-H work. What started as volunteerism eventually led her to becoming a club leader — and she never slowed down. She currently is leader of the Little Axe 4-H Club, Cleveland County Agricultural Club and the Cleveland County Archery Club.

When asked why she volunteers, the answer came easily.

“I volunteer because I get to make a difference. Even if it’s just with one member, I get to make a difference,” Stubbs said. “My favorite thing about volunteering is seeing the kids grow from Cloverbuds to senior members and seeing the success they have in their lives.”

Delaney Cruzan, Cleveland County 4-H’er, said Stubbs has made a big impact on her 4-H career.

“Coming into 4-H as an older member was daunting to me as most of my peers had been in 4-H for multiple years,” Cruzan said. “Ms. Lily was formative in my 4-H success from the very beginning. Her belief in me changed me for the better. If I grow into half the woman she is, I will consider myself to be a success. She deserves to be recognized for her work and service in the 4-H program.”

Ruth Allard, who now serves at the statewide 4-H shooting sports coordinator, worked with Stubbs for more than three years in her previous role as the OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development educator in Cleveland County.

“When Lily sees a need, she’s there to offer help. No matter what the subject area, she will always lend a helping hand however she’s able to,” Allard said. “Lily has helped keep the Cleveland County 4-H program alive through many transitions in the Extension office, as well as a transition to a new district. She is a huge advocate of 4-H and positive youth development.”

Melody Schrank has served as a volunteer alongside Stubbs for many years. Having volunteered herself for more than 18 years, Schrank has seen how Stubbs has impacted the 4-H program in Cleveland County.

“I attended many county events where I observed Little Axe 4-H growing under Lily’s leadership. Her members were participating in every county contest and event, and her club was quickly becoming the club to beat,” Schrank said. “While her children are both in college and no longer 4-H members, Lily continues to volunteer countless hours of her time to Cleveland County 4-H.”

In addition to leading various clubs, Stubbs also is a member of the Cleveland County 4-H Foundation and president of the Parent-Volunteer Association. She serves on the 4-H Program Advisory Committee, is active on the state shooting sports committee, is a national level-2 shooting sports instructor and has served as the Cleveland County Fair 4-H superintendent. She volunteers for activities across the state by teaching workshops and judging events such as Cupcake Wars.

With a catch in her voice, Stubbs said she is overwhelmed by the recognition.

“This award is very humbling. It’s just cool to be part of the 4-H organization,” she said.

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