‘Aha‘ōlelo Ali‘i Ceremony 2022

The ‘Aha‘ōlelo Ali‘i ceremony is a tradition that includes the recognition of honored guests and the “Gifts to the Ali‘i” presentation of locally significant gifts from each county 4-H program. Community members are chosen as Ali‘i based on the 4-H program values of leadership and community service.

This year’s recipients are Dr. Helene and Mark Zeug..

Dr. Helene and Mark Zeug have supported, directed, and innovated the Hawaii State 4-H Program for almost 40 years. Together they have shown a deep understanding and commitment to the values of 4-H and the impact it can have on its youth members and the community.

We immeasurably appreciate Mark and Dr. Zeug for their ceaseless commitment, tireless accomplishments, and passionate dedication to the program.

On behalf of the Hawaii State 4-H faculty, staff, leaders and volunteers, and its members, mahalo nui loa.

Dr. Helene and Mark Zeug
In 2020, Dr. Helene Zeug was one of 16 people inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame but that was just the tip of the iceberg that includes her career, her influence on the Hawaii State 4-H program, and her many contributions to help improve the needs of the local community and beyond.

Helene started her 4-H journey at age 9 with the Waihee Girls 4-H club and later became a junior leader, club leader, and a Collegiate 4-H club president. Professionally, she joined the state 4-H staff in 1963, as a 4-H county Specialist, then became Assistant State 4-H Program Leader, and finally was acting state leader for the 4-H program.

In these roles, Dr. ZOIG started one of the first urban 4-H programs in the country (focusing on inner city areas of Honolulu), established 4-H clubs for youth with special needs at local O’ahu schools, developed innovative 4-H project materials when none were available, and coordinated Hawaii’s participation in the Labo Japanese exchange.

One of Helene’s notable achievements was the establishment of the Hawaii 4-H Alumni Association in 1983.The primary mission of this organization is to provide monetary support for the Hawaii delegation attending the National 4-H Congress each year.

In 2008, Helene also wrote the definitive history of the Hawaii 4-H Program that started in 1918. This documentation was published as part of the 300-page book entitled “Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources: Celebrating 100 Years.” Helene has been the “Rock” of the Hawaii 4-H program for nearly four decades.

Mark Zeug grew up in southern Minnesota, where he was a ten-year member of the Gales Rousers 4-H Club, a 4-H junior leader, and later an International 4-H Youth Exchange delegate to India.

He is a retired journalist and public relations professional who began his career in newspaper work in South Dakota and Minnesota. In Hawaii, he served as a publications editor for the East-West Center from 1970-1976, then served for 12 years as public relations manager for Alexander & Baldwin, and then 10 years as a public relations consultant.

After retiring, he focused on volunteer activities, including organizing sporting events for seniors and other Hawaii residents. He was volunteer coordinator and co-founder of both the Aloha State Games and the Hawaii Senior Olympics. He also served for eight years on the board of directors of the National Senior Games Association, which organizes the national senior Olympics.

He was instrumental in establishing Hawaii’s Afterschool Alliance, an organization that the Hawaii 4-H Programs have been working closely with in the past several years, and was a special-invite delegate to the White House Conference on Aging in 2005.

As a constant companion by Helene’s side for more than 50 years, Mark has also been an integral part of the historic contributions already mentioned and continues to support, promote, and advocate for the Hawaii State 4-H program, its volunteers and leaders, and most importantly, its youth members.

The entire ceremony is available to watch on the Hawai‘i 4-H Youtube Channel