Like many non-profit organizations, the Shelby County 4-H program relies heavily on volunteers, grants and gifts to sustain our youth development efforts. Many of our activities have inherent costs that we prefer not to pass on to our families, if possible. For example, 4-H Camp expenses typically surpass what is collected from registration. We have a strong desire to keep fees as reasonable as possible so that all youth have an opportunity to attend camp. Additionally, 4-H in the Classroom currently services eight schools in Shelby County at no cost to the districts. Ultimately, our goal is for 4-H to remain accessible to as many youth as possible, despite rising costs and discrepancies between supply and demand.
Fortunately, our local 4-H program has been on the receiving end of a variety of support. Through non-mandated backing from the county commissioners to private donations from companies like Emerson Climate Technologies, Honda, Stolle Machinery and CBT Company and grants from the Community Foundation and Chamber of Commerce, we have been blessed. That said, one of the most perpetual supporters of our efforts is the Shelby County 4-H Foundation. The Foundation is a registered 501(c) that meets quarterly to invest a determined sum of funds in our 4-H youth. Annually, the Foundation subsidizes 4-H Camp fees, assists with Citizenship Washington Focus trips, supports volunteer training and funds a variety of scholarships and awards.
This year, the Foundation also sponsored the Shelby County 4-H mobile app and 4-H Foundation Family Night. The mobile app, which hosts the 4-H calendar, club directory, weekly newsletter, common forms, fair programs and results, fairgrounds map, livestock sale information and more, has been enjoyed by more than 450 users since its launch earlier this summer. The first annual 4-H Foundation Family Night, which was held in the Free Entertainment Tent on Kid’s Day of the Junior Fair, was attended by more than 200 people. Funds for both the mobile app and Family Night were derived from proceeds collected at last year’s Shelby County 4-H Foundation Annual Breakfast, which is generously sponsored by the Sidney Elks BPOE 786. The continuation of the mobile app and Family Night will be dependent on the success of this year’s 4-H Breakfast.
The 2019 date for the breakfast is this Sunday, Sept. 8. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event, located at the Sidney Elks BPOE 786 on South Main Street in Sidney, is open to the public and handicap accessible. The cost is $7 for adults and $3 for children 16 and under. The buffet-style menu includes sausage links and patties, bacon, eggs, pancakes, home fries, sausage gravy, biscuits, toast, orange juice, coffee and milk. There will be a coloring contest for children during the breakfast, as well as activities and giveaways. 4-H youth will show their appreciation for both the Foundation and those attending by serving drinks and cleaning tables during the event. A photo slideshow of the 2018-2019 4-H program year will also be displayed.
If you find time Sunday, please join us in taking part in celebrating over 100 years of 4-H by treating yourself to a delicious breakfast. Your attendance will assist us in keeping 4-H accessible to the more than 10,000 youth in Shelby County.
The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.