Celebrating the Service of Debbie McManus with 4-H

We are celebrating the service of Debbie McManus with 4-H. At an appreciation party on June 23, 2023, an array of representatives showed up in honor and respect of Debbie for a job well done. It was certainly mixed emotions to see her go yet a shared consensus that she needed a chance to focus more on herself and family. Celebrating with Debbie were approximately 100 people. Attending were staff of the St. Lucie County UF/IFAS Extension Office, representatives of the various 4-H clubs, community sponsors and friends of 4-H, as well as former Extension agent, Sue Munyan. The event took the format of a social gathering with a hollow-square seating arrangement, and a reception table operated by a group of 4-H’ers (Cole Wickham, and Emma Wickham). Cole and Emma welcomed those attending and collected signatures for collages and scrapbooks and received many gifts, which were later presented to Debbie.

Upon arrival, a loud shout greeted Debbie, who then had time to greet and socialize with everyone directly. We served up a buffet-style light refreshment followed by the welcome greeting, opening remarks, and reflection from John Ferguson (4-H Extension Agent), who then opened the floor to all who shared their reflections and memories about working with Debbie. One fun memory shared by the former Extension Agent, Sue Munyan, was about a time when Debbie and she got lost while traveling to a 4-H program, on an almost never-ending trail. The story was told of the only landmark in search of was “the Governor’s House” which did not end well because, to their surprise, it was not the Governor’s House that they were expecting. Just imagine, before the disappointing moment, being lost and not wanting your passengers to know, and they start freaking out, then suddenly hearing one of the passengers bellowing out in fear “Please get us off this Devil’s Trail”! It abruptly became apparent that the hidden and suppressed fear all came alive with the repeated utterance “Please get us off this Devil’s Trail”.

Among the many spoken memories, there was much laughter, and many times Debbie could not hold back the tears, but the celebration was well received. The event culminated with a few youths requesting Debbie’s famous 4-H Chant “When I say 4, you say H”. She also took pictures with her first and second-generation 4-H’ers, and Extension staff from both Martin and St. Lucie County. (See photo inserts). Thanks again to Debbie for her 31 years of dedicated service to the St. Lucie County 4-H Youth Development Program. To all who were present and those who could not make it, we appreciate all that you are doing for St. Lucie County 4-H as we continue “To Make the Best Better”. To learn more about St. Lucie 4-H program visit our website at: St. Lucie County – UF/IFAS Extension (ufl.edu). Thank you for celebrating the service of Debbie McManus with 4-H.

Debbie Mcmanus
Debbie Mcmanus. Photo credit by Terri Zuidema

Prepared by John Ferguson – 4-H Extension Agent.


Posted: August 9, 2023

Category: 4-H & Youth, Agriculture
Tags: 4-H, Mcmanus, St. Lucie

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