CCC, Doughty Valley 4-H club honor Schafer

CCC, Doughty Valley 4-H club honor Schafer
Dave Mast

Members of the Doughty Valley 4-H club and Clark Community Center gathered together recently to plant a shade tree in memory of Deb Schafer, who was a big part of the community before passing away last year.


Deb Schafer meant the world to her family and friends, 4-H club members, and those in the community who were blessed to get to know her.

On Monday, Nov. 16, several members of the Doughty Valley 4-H club united with members of the Clark Community Center board, joining family and friends of Schafer to honor her memory with a tree-planting ceremony at the CCC.

The group gathered to plant a sunset maple tree near the north side of the Clark center, right along the fence line along state Route 83, where the tree should eventually grow to around 20 feet tall, providing shade, beauty and a lasting memory of Schafer and everything she meant to the club, 4-H and the county.

Schafer had been involved with 4-H for many years prior to her passing away last year, as both a 4-Her and longtime advisor, and both the 4-H club and CCC members were excited about doing something in her honor that would serve as a lasting tribute.

“We were asked to plant a tree in honor of her and her family,” Doughty Valley 4-H club advisor Marcia Troyer said. “We were honored. Deb was in our club many years. Her son and grandchildren were in it, and Deb was connected to the llama club and was a big part of the county and our community. She was a fantastic lady, and I love her. She did a lot for her club and for the community.”

Joining the tree-planting memorial were Schafer’s husband Jim Schafer, her son Rick Schafer and her granddaughter Gabby Schafer.

Troyer headed up the project in cooperation with the members of the CCC and was honored to be able to add something to the Clark and Holmes County community that memorialized the important role her friend and 4-H colleague meant to the county and to 4-H.

CCC board members Taylor Faunce, Jess McConville, Rick Schafer and President Cheryl Seabright joined in the tree-planting ceremony in representing their organization.

Troyer said she had planted a tree in honor of the passing of her husband Daniel nine years ago and opted to plant one to honor her friend because both people meant so much to her.

The CCC board requested a maple, and Troyer didn’t hesitate in choosing the sunset maple variety.

“The one I planted in honor of my husband is doing amazing, so that was why I chose it again,” Troyer said.

Troyer said she didn’t ask too many of the 4-Hers to come for several reasons: because they didn’t want to create too big of a crowd for safety reasons and because it only takes so many people to plant a tree.

One of the Doughty Valley 4-H club members present was President Matthew Young, who helped dig the hole where the tree will now take root. He said COVID-19 has made meeting in person more difficult, but the group hasn’t let that stop them from communicating any why they can to keep the aisle of communication open to all members.

“I think, if anything, this whole thing with the virus has brought us closer together as a club,” Young said. “We have always been a very close-knit club and have a strong bond that seems to only be getting stronger. We haven’t let the virus stop us from being a part of a club that is important to all of us.”

Like many 4-H clubs, the members of Doughty Valley 4-H have been limited recently to phone calls, Zoom meetings and doing the best they can without doing the things they normally would be doing.

Troyer said they could not have their annual service meeting this year, so the group did meet in October when they handed out annual awards and had a meal that served as their service project, which doubled as a way to say thanks to the parents of the club members. The club also was unable to do its annual pizza sale fundraiser.

In addition, they were able to do a few outdoors tasks this summer including planting flowers at Lake Buckhorn, a local cemetery and at the CCC. They did have to meet in smaller groups that were scheduled so they didn’t have too many kids gathered at once. Each of the club members also did their demonstration projects on Facebook.

“We accomplished a lot considering what we had to do,” Troyer said. “Apparently, we are a stubborn bunch of people.”

Troyer said that if and when the club can actually get together physically again this summer, the hope is that the club is able to purchase a bench for the fairgrounds as an additional way of remembering and honoring their friend, mentor and advisor.

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