Mary Ann Van Osdell, Eskew, Eric A.
A new college scholarship is available for north and central Louisiana 4-H’ers through a $20,000 donation from Hilda D. Williams and her children, Rosy Williams Bromell, Vickie Williams Phelps and Donald Vardaman Williams.
The Hilda D. Williams and Vardaman Williams Jr. Scholarship will award $500 to an outstanding 4-H’er from central or north Louisiana, said Eric Eskew, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation.
Eligible recipients must be graduating high school seniors who were active in 4-H and will be enrolling as full-time undergraduate students in any two- or four-year college in Louisiana
The late Vardaman Williams was a 4-H member, leader and volunteer for more than 40 years. As a youth, he raised and showed chickens and steers.
A dairy, hog and beef farmer, Vardaman Williams was manager of the State Fair of Louisiana Dairy Barn and Milking Parlor from 1983 to 1997.
He was Caddo Parish Young Farmer of the Year in 1956 and was awarded the Caddo Parish Award for Outstanding 4-H Leader posthumously in 1998.
His wife, Hilda, a 4-H’er in 1940 and a volunteer leader for sewing clinics and freezing and canning clinics from 1958 to 1995, resides in Keithville. She was a member of the Louisiana Volunteers for Family and Community for 52 years and has purchased animals at the State Fair of Louisiana for more than 20 years.
Both Hilda and Vardaman Williams were nominated for the 4-H Hall of Fame.
“Our family has been blessed in recent years, so this is our way of giving back,” Bromell said. “4-H has been a large part of our lives, especially when we were young.”
The three Williams children showed livestock – Vickie and Rosy showed dairy cows and pigs, and Donald showed beef steers. Each won the Superintendent’s Award and Governor’s Award as a 4-H’er and attended 4-H Club Congress in Chicago.
“We all feel fortunate to have grown up in a family that supported us in 4-H and in the other activities we participated in as youths – including band, pep squad, football, baseball and other activities,” Bromell said.
“This generous donation from the Williams family will help north Louisiana 4-H’ers graduating from high school continue their post-secondary education and successfully enter the workforce,” said Paul Coreil, vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter.
“For generations, the Williams family has participated in numerous 4-H projects and activities as dedicated 4-H members and volunteer leaders,” Coreil said. “Now they want to give back to the 4-H program through the creation of a dedicated, endowed scholarship that encourages continued educational excellence and life skill development.”
The annual scholarship will be available to graduating seniors in Avoyelles, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, DeSoto, East Carroll, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll or Winn parishes, Eskew said. Financial need may be a consideration.
Mary Ann Van Osdell