WARSAW — For more than 20 years the 4-H Memorial Garden has been a staple of the Kosciusko County Fair. Last year, several changes altered the look of the garden. While the appearance of the garden may change, the reason behind the memorial will always remain.
In the summer of 1992 a car accident killed two 4-H members, Jeremiah Anglin and Mike Bishop. By the summer of 1993 4-H members and the Warsaw Community High School FFA had planned and created the 4-H Memorial Garden.
Since 1992, more than 15 other 4-H members have been memorialized through the garden including Theresa Alber, Chad Beer, Shannon Kay Colbert, Glen Dausman, Jim Demske, Jane Demske, Jay Haab, Penny Hershberger, Sara Hogan, Karen Imhoff, Gene Milner, Jason Mithoefer, Rebecca Sholtey, Mayer Smoker, Larry Worley and Joy Young.
Abbi Curtis, a member of Junior Leaders, said everyone should visit the memorial garden “to see all the people that were involved in 4-H who died and see how many people have been Junior Leaders in the past.”
Kosciusko County 4-H Junior Leaders take care of the memorial garden. The Junior Leaders are 4-H members in grades seven through 12 who learn about leadership through community service. The group spends many hours each season to clean and maintain the garden. Last year the group put in extra work.
Last year’s renovations to the memorial garden included new metal siding and roofing for the adjoining pop stand. The hope was the new siding and roofing will preserve the building and draw more attention to the fundraising efforts of the Junior Leaders. The Junior Leaders also gave the gazebo a new roof. This year they mulched the garden and pruned the bushes back. A bench in honor of Sue Studebaker was also placed along the outside edge of the garden.
The 4-H Memorial Garden is located near the entrance to the livestock barns on the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds. In the garden visitors can find various plaques that commemorate the lives of those who died while in 4-H.
Right next to the garden is the pop stand that received its new siding and roof last year. The pop stand sells pizza and pop and a portion of the sales goes toward maintaining the garden.
“It’s a good place to relax,” said Curtis. “With all the barns around it is a quiet place to relax and hold a conversation during the fair.”