Jennifer Richards, this year's recipient of the Sharon Fourman Volunteer Award, is shown in front of the Grandstand prior to the start of the Annual Parade of Champions. She was on hand to accept the Outstanding 4-H'er of the Year trophy which was presented to daughter Raylea, who was away at college. | Photo by Linda Moody

The Great Darke County Fair 2021

ARCANUM – Jennifer Richards of rural Arcanum received the Sharon Fourman 4-H Volunteer of the Year award.

“Due to COVID, it was presented during the virtual Darke County 4-H Spring Recognition and Kick Off earlier this year,” she said. “I was very honored and grateful to receive the award. I had the privilege of serving with Sharon on the Darke County 4-H Committee. Knowing the type of person she was and her passion to give back to others, makes this award even more special. She’s missed by many (myself included), but thought of fondly.”

Richards is advisor for both the Blue Angels 4-H Club and Hands Across the Darke. She is Carteens coordinator for Darke County and a member of the Darke County 4-H Committee and the Darke County 4-H Advisory Board.”

Other activities revolved around her family, which includes husband Dennis and daughter Raylea.

“My daughter graduated from high school this year and is attending college so any chance I get to hang out with her, I take advantage of,” said the award recipient, who is the daughter of Bryan and Cathy Retterbush of Pitsburg, the late Doug Ransbottom of Springfield and Vicki Jo Ransbottom and Fred Swanson of Centerville.

Richards is a 1989 graduate of Franklin Monroe High School, and had participated in 4-H, volleyball, basketball and softball. She then graduated in 1993 from Bluffton University, where she participated in volleyball, softball and tennis.
Richards has worked as director of billing for Remedi SeniorCare Pharmacy in Troy for 22 years.

“I enjoy working with the 4-H program because of all the opportunities for everyone. No matter what your interests, there is something for you,” she concluded. “Many times you find something you didn’t even know you were interested in by just trying. I enjoy seeing the youth grow and develop into young adults. My hope is to provide them with a positive experience, growth in their thoughts and ideas, to be kind to others and to go forward and serve their fellow man. Everyone has a special talent/skill. Sometimes it’s easy to see, but other times you have to look deeper.”

Richards is the second person to receive this annual award. The first one was Karen Stanley.

Sharon K. (Rismiller) Fourman, for whom the award memorializes, died Feb. 12, 2018, at Kettering Health Network in Kettering.A 1972 graduate of Ansonia High School, Fourman was a homemaker and an active volunteer. A member of St. John Lutheran Church, Greenville, she spent 29 years as a 4-H advisor, where she enjoyed helping the 4-Hers with their projects; was a member of the Darke County 4-H committee; enjoyed working the election polls for the Darke County Board of Elections; volunteered for Darke County Solid Waste District; and was a past member of the Darke County Livestock Sales Committee.

I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.

Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ lmoody@darkecountynow.com or 937-337-1955.

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