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Elaine Faison inducted into the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame

On July 29, longtime Gilchrist County 4-H Assistant Elaine Faison was inducted into the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame. Her family and a large group of former Gilchrist 4-H members and leaders attended the prestigious ceremony that took place at the University of Florida J. Wayne Reitz Union.
Stacey Ellison, 4-H Program Leader and Dr. Chris DeCubellis, 4-H State Specialized Agent both nominated Mrs. Faison for the 4-H Hall of Fame.
Stacey Ellison’s nomination stated in part, “Gilchrist County is a small, rural county and for more than 25 years Mrs. Faison was the 4-H professional for the Extension office. She was indeed a 4-H icon and to many, ‘the mother of Gilchrist County 4-H.’ With Mrs. Faison at the helm of the 4-H program, local young people experienced opportunities not often prevalent for rural youth. Through Mrs. Faison, countless Gilchrist County 4-H members received national level recognition, trips to National 4-H Congress, National 4-H Conference, national judging team competitions, scholarships, and more. She was an incredible mentor to me, and quite frankly the reason I sought a career with 4-H. Once I became a 4-H agent, the first person to receive one of my business cards was Mrs. Faison. She continued to mentor me as I began in my first 4-H Agent position in 2001. Mrs. Faison exemplified all that is good about Florida 4-H, and is a very deserving candidate for inclusion in the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame.”
Dr. DeCubellis, a former 4-H Extention Agent in Gilchrist County, made these statements about Mrs. Faison’s 4-H career. “Ms. Elaine Faison served as 4-H program assistant for her entire professional career, serving the youth of Gilchrist County as the only full-time 4-H staff member in a one-agent, rural Florida County. Elaine mentored and influenced thousands of young people over her multi-decade career. Ms. Elaine taught youth technical skills such as sewing, cooking, and record keeping, but also instilled life lessons on civility, carrying oneself with grace and class, and helped many 4-H members achieve great things as adults, thanks in part to Ms. Elaine’s tutelage. After a successful career, Elaine retired from her job as program assistant, but continued volunteering with the Gilchrist County 4-H Program as one of the community club leaders for the Busy Bees 4-H Club, and also helped plan and teach an annual quilting-themed 4-H summer day camp. Ms. Elaine volunteered right up to her passing a few years ago, but her son Leslie Faison still serves as a club leader in the Gilchrist County 4-H program. I would imagine one reason he is still involved is because his mother instilled in him the importance of giving back to one’s community, and helping develop it’s most precious resource, it’s young people.”
Ms. Faison passed away in May of 2015, she was one of five inducted into the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame this year.
The Florida 4-H Hall of Fame was established in 2002 to recognize outstanding 4-H leaders who have contributed to the 4-H program.