Crestview-Ashland FFA
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Chapter Banquet

On Thursday, April 14th, the Crestview FFA held their 53rd Annual Awards Banquet, celebrating the chapter's accomplishments throughout the past year. The tradition of official dress and retiring speeches was held in the chapter’s high school gym and auditorium, where members and guests honored both past and present Crestview FFA members for the achievements earned throughout the past calendar year. Over the past fifty-three years, the Crestview FFA has withheld the outstanding tradition of excellence in agriculture; adding every year to the ever growing list of 159 FFA State Degree recipients and 41 American FFA Degree recipients.

Chapter president, Jenna Purvis, humbly welcomed guests and members to start the evening. Afterward, the always enjoyable meal was prepared and served by Crestview FFA Alumni Joni Esbenshade with the help of other alumni and Crestview students. The annual student labor auction followed the meal, where 34 members in groups of two or three had the choice of planting eight flats of chapter grown flowers or volunteering four hours of their time for general labor. Guests of the banquet bid on the groups of students to raise generous donations for the chapter. In total, over $3000 was raised through the student labor portion and over $1500 was raised through the silent auction. All proceeds will go toward the funding of the chapters various activities throughout the year.

Following the meal and labor auction, the awards ceremony began with the traditional FFA opening ceremonies. Conducting the opening ceremonies was the 2015-2016 Crestview FFA Officer Team, consisting of President, Jenna Purvis; Vice Presidents Kelcie Chance and Maddy Maust; Secretary, Brynn Witmer; Treasurer, Kathy Lehman; Reporters, Emma Ardis and Kaitlyn Hunt; Sentinel, Dawson LaFever; and Student Advisor, Isaac Fulk.

To start off the awards, Crestview FFA freshman were awarded their Greenhand Degrees. The Greenhand Degree is awarded to first year members at the local level who are still considered “green” due to their inexperience within the FFA. They are green to the opportunities and experiences that await them. This year, the banquet honored 24 members with their Greenhand Degree, including: Casper Alvineda, Chloe Bump, Dakota Hamilton, Molly Ardis, Anna Chaney, Clayton Hout, Hunter Barber, Tyler Dinsmore, Elizabeth Laug, Noah Blum, Cody Loughman, Justin Bond, Abagail Brown, Ervin Fussner, Meghan McFarland, Jacqueline Rydzinski, Clorissa Moore, LaCrisha Sauder, Alexis Wagner, LeAnn Pickworth, Cailyn Rogers, Emily Stevens, Iszabella Rose, and Savanah Stuart. Afterward, twenty-one chapter sophomores were awarded with their Chapter Degrees, the next step in the degree process after the Greenhand Degree. The Chapter Degree is also awarded to members at the local level. Recipients are usually in their second or third year of membership and must meet requirements set by the National FFA Association. The following are the 2016 Crestview FFA Chapter Degree recipients; Emma Ardis, Koalton Baker, William Barber, Logan Benepe, Erin Bernhard, Kelsey Boyer, Colton Campbell, Lane Fry, Warren Fussner, Kaitlyn Hunt, Dylan LaFever, Kathy Lehman, Chris Loughman, Mason Maust, Jay Oswalt, Austin Owens, Brett Rine, Cade Rogers, Michael Thompson, Brynn Witmer, and Mackenzie Workman. Only two percent of all FFA members in Ohio receive the next step in the degree process. That step is the State Degree. During the Banquet, the chapter proudly announced that one of its members is a 2016 state degree candidate and will be receiving his degree at the 88th Annual Ohio FFA  Convention in Columbus, Ohio. That member is Dawson LaFever. Following the state degree recipients, the chapter also announced that they will be adding two names to their growing list of American Degree Recipients. The American Degree is the highest degree attainable of the process and requires an outstanding amount of hard work and dedication to the FFA Organization. Crestview’s 2016 American Degree candidates are Samantha Oswalt and Abby Motter.

Following the recognition of CDE participants, the chapter awarded the Star Greenhand award. To be a Star Greenhand, members must exceed expectations, have a good attitude, and show developing leadership skills as well as dedication to the FFA Chapter. This year’s Star Greenhand awards went to Ervin Fussner and Savanah Stuart.  The next award presented was the Star Chapter Award. These recipients must continue to show exceptional leadership skills and dedication the chapter. This year, Emma Ardis, Brynn Witmer, and Kathy Lehman were presented with the Star Chapter award. The Outstanding Committee Chair Award was presented next. To be an Outstanding Committee Chair, members must show excellence in the completion of their committee chair duties. This year’s outstanding committee chair went to Walker Ramsay. Walker held a chair on the chapter’s Environmental Committee. He was responsible for tilling the school farm in 2015 and assisted with the planting of the Crestview FFA test plots.

Proceeding the star awards, Savanah Stuart was awarded for her top sales record throughout the school year. Savanah sold over $2,700 combined between the chapter’s chicken barbecue and fruit sale. The chapter’s outstanding sales people for the year were Kelsey Boyer, Kathy Lehman, Jay Oswalt, and Sarah Stuart.

Next, two seniors were given the Outstand Senior award. The seniors awarded were Jenna Purvis and Kelcie Chance. Their hard work, dedication, and accomplishments achieved during their time as members of the Crestview FFA made them all very deserving of this prestigious award.

In February, the chapter held their first Meals of Hope packing event. Through hardwork and dedication from chapter members, the chapter raised a total of $12,500, enabling them to hold a school wide 50,000 meal packing event. These meals were distributed to 16 local food pantries throughout Richland and Ashland counties. In agreement with the Meals of Hope program, two chapter members attending the Washington Leadership Conference in Washington, DC this summer were awarded with scholarships to help with the costs of the trip. Erin Bernhard and Brynn Witmer will be attending the Washington Leadership Conference this summer to better their leadership skills and bring back valuable experiences to the FFA. Next, The Crestview FFA recognized their 2016 Honorary Degree recipients. The Honorary chapter Degree recipients are chosen by the chapter at regular business meeting by a majority vote, and are awarded to individuals who have shown a continued support of the Crestview FFA Chapter, helping it to expand and grow in the past years. One of this year’s Honorary Degree Recipients was Alaine Dickerson. Alaine is an active member of the Crestview FFA Alumni. She has been in charge of scheduling members shifts, and enduring the needs of the FFA Alumni Steak Trailer for the last few years. Alaine has shown countless hours of dedication to the Crestview FFA Alumni through her hard work and dedication. The next Honorary Degree Recipient was Mrs. Kelly Purvis. Mrs. Purvis has shown continual support towards the Crestview FFA throughout the years. From proctoring all the CDE exams taken, showing guidance towards members, as well as chaperoning FFA activities in the absence of the chapter’s advisor. She has attended State Convention as well as assisted in preparing food for the Community Luncheon.

During the banquet, the Crestview FFA Alumni awarded 8 memorial scholarships through the Living Legacy Fund. The Crestview FFA Alumni began the Living Legacy Fund in 2001 through the generous memorial donations and alumni fundraisers. The following were Recipients of 2015-2016 scholarships. Jenna Purvis received the Ivan “Duke” White scholarship as well as the John Sherrick scholarship; Kelcie Chance received both the Clarence Fulk and the Genieve Spoerr scholarships; Maddy Maust received the Le-Mac Farms scholarship; Skyler Campo received the Richard “Dick” Mawhorr scholarship; Erin Bernhard received the Ivan Esbenshade scholarship to help with the cost of her 2016 Washington Leadership Conference trip; and finally, Brynn Witmer received the Emery and Dorothy Grauer scholarship to also help with the cost of her WLC trip.

To conclude the the banquet was the installation of the 2016-2017 Crestview FFA Officer Team. The new officers are: Kathy Lehman, President; Emma Ardis and Brynn Witmer, Vice President; Molly Ardis, Secretary; Erin Bernard, Treasurer; Kadie Myers, Reporter; Sarah Stuart, Sentinel; and Savanah Stuart, Student Advisor.



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