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Help for helping hands: 4-H youth fundraiser underway

Carmen Ollila enjoys taking part in 4-H, noting that making good friends is her favorite part of 4-H. She also enjoys model horse shows. A fundraiser is going on to raise money for local programming. (Photo courtesy of 4-H)

MARQUETTE — People can help local 4-H through an online fundraiser now underway.

Liana Pepin, the 4-H educator in Marquette County, said the purpose of the fundraiser is to raise money to support local programming.

“Right now, we are not meeting in person, so all of our work is done either virtually or through kits that are sent to individuals to complete with the help of parents or guardians, or siblings,” Pepin said. “Down the road, we will be meeting in person again and we will need funds to provide scholarship dollars for 4-H Camps, Exploration Days, 4-H Project Workshops and other regional events, and more.”

Checks also may be mailed to: University Advancement, Spartan Way, 535 Chestnut Road, Room 300, East Lansing, MI 48824, with the check payable to Michigan State University and “Appeal 2100PCF14HMRQTT” written in the note section.

An online option, though, is beneficial in at least one way.

Carmen Ollila enjoys taking part in 4-H, noting that making good friends is her favorite part of 4-H. She also enjoys model horse shows. A fundraiser is going on to raise money for local programming. (Photo courtesy of 4-H)

“The beauty of an online fundraiser is that people can see the progress being made in real time and reaching more people makes a big difference,” said Pepin, who noted those smaller amounts given by more people are just as effective as big amounts given by fewer people.

Pepin said individuals called “CrowdPower Heroes” — since the fundraiser is being run through Michigan State University’s CrowdPower — are helping in the effort.

The link to the fundraiser is at https://givingto.msu.edu/crowdpower/marquette-county-4-h where more information can be found.

Contributions will provide many opportunities for our local youth, the website reads. For example, purchasing updated educational curriculum and equipment supports 4-H club leaders and helps 4-H youth continue learning from home. A donation of $25 to $35 will pay for a full set of curricula while $50 can cover equipment.

Also noted was the fact that virtual programming needs are high and include supplies for kits to send to members. A donation of $75 to $100 will pay for supplies and postage to send kits and activity instructions to 10 families.

Once 4-H is able to meet face to face, youth will also need program scholarships, according to the website. One of the most popular programs is 4-H Exploration Days at MSU. A donation of $170 cov

ers the balance one youth pays after the 4-H Council Scholarship to attend 4-H Exploration Days.

Another popular program is U.P. 4-H Camp. After the 4-H Council scholarship, families pay $45 per camper.

4-H has helped many local youngsters in a variety of ways.

“4-H has been a really fun thing to do over the past few years and something that I wish I was involved in sooner,” Carmen Ollila said in an email. “I made a lot of really good friends through 4-H, which I think is my favorite part about 4-H. Another favorite is our model horse shows when everyone is there to show off their horses and have fun judging and being judged — and the excitement that everyone has about the show really brings us all together.

“Even though we are social distanced, I feel like I still have very close online contact with everyone making the quarantining and distancing more tolerable and less life-changing.”

Halle Graves said she has been involved in 4-H since she was very young. “Before I was even old enough to be in a club, my sister and I would go to my mom’s club meetings and draw on the chalkboard the whole time,” Graves said. “Once I was old enough to join a club, I did right away.”

The first club she joined was the Center Stage Performing Arts 4-H Club. “Since then, I have belonged to many clubs and learned many skills,” Graves said. “I have met many new friends and done some really cool things. Currently, I am in 5th H History Club, Lake Superior 4-H Club and Helping Hands 4-H Club. All three of these clubs are different and I get to try different things in each one, which is something I really like about 4-H — there are so many project areas.”

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net

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