Orleans 4-H’er wins state-wide youth award

Posted 13 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Haley Maier, 11, raises money for Alzheimer’s Association

Provided photo – Haley Maier, 11, demonstrates how she makes crocheted necklaces, which she sells to benefit the Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Press release, Prudential Financial

An Orleans County 4-H member has been picked as one of two top youth volunteers in the state. She has been recognized through the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

Haley Maier, a sixth-grader at Barker Middle School, has raised money for the Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association by making and selling crocheted necklaces in memory of her grandmother, who died from Alzheimer’s disease before Haley was born.

Although she never knew her grandmother, Haley often listened to her older sisters talk about what a great grandma she was.

“She had done so much for everyone that I wanted to do something on her behalf,” she said.

Since her grandmother loved to crochet, and had been assisted in many ways by the Alzheimer’s Association after she became ill, Haley decided to crochet necklaces to support the Association’s work.

After her mother taught her to crochet, Haley, 11, began spending evenings and weekends making necklaces and then sold them to friends, classmates, family members, teachers and others in her community.

She also set up necklace displays at her pediatrician’s office and hair dresser’s salon, and demonstrated her crocheting technique at a county 4-H event.

“It makes me happy to know that people like my grandma could benefit from what I do,” said Haley. “I wish I had known my grandma, but somehow I know she is watching over me.”

Haley and Sean Egan, 17, of Staten Island will each receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C. for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, 10 of 102 youth volunteers from around the country will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2014.

The Orleans County 4-H nominated two local youths for the award. Besides Haley for the junior division, the 4-H program picked Jonathan Trembley  for the senior division.

Jonathan, 17, is a resident of Albion and has been involved with 4-H for the past decade. Jonathan is very talented musically and sings, plays piano, drums, guitar, and bass guitar for church events and local holiday concerts.

You might also recognize him as the Village Blacksmith from the historical re-enactments that take place in the West Jackson Corners in Shelby.

He has performed at local nursing homes, and has also worked with the Care-A-Van Band ministry in Batavia as a percussionist.