MAPLE PARK – Jean Fabrizius of Maple Park said she thought of her father last month when she was inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame.
“My dad was a 4-H leader of the Somonauk Haymakers when I was in it,” the 55-year-old said. Her father died in March. “I just really thought of him when I was standing on stage. I did right by Dad, I guess.”
The Illinois 4-H Foundation established the Hall of Fame in 2004 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers and former staff. Fabrizius belongs to the ninth and largest class of inductees since the recognition began.
Fabrizius described the honor as surreal. “I was just speechless when I heard I was being inducted into the Hall of Fame,” she said.
Fabrizius is not only a 4-H alumna, but a longtime volunteer.
Her involvement as an adult began when her oldest child, now 25, joined the Maple Park Lincoln Highway club at age 8, she said. Her other children went with her to the meetings, she said, the youngest sitting on her lap.
Her youngest son recently finished his participation with 4-H, making this the first year in more than a decade the family hasn’t shown at the fair, she said.
But, she said, that doesn’t mean her involvement with the organization will end.
“I believe in 4-H very much,” Fabrizius said. “I think I will continue to be involved.”
She serves as a member of the Blue Ribbon Sale Committee and the Unit 5 combined council and co-chairs the kitchen committee for the annual Kane County 4-H Foundation Pork Chop Dinner and Fundraiser.
“Jean is an outstanding leader and example for our youth in Kane County,” Sandra Davis, director of University of Illinois Extension for DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties, said in a written statement.