In support of the Huntington County 4-H program that takes place each summer, the Huntington County 4-H Fair Association, Inc., will be hosting the Biennial Huntington County 4-H Benefit Auction on Saturday, April 16.
According to a recent newsletter, the Fair Association welcomes support through the gift of donating items for the auction, or through cash donation. Fair Association members stress that the proceeds from this auction will directly affect the Huntington County 4-H Fair and 4-H programming. Tim Burnau, the Fair Association President, says that proceeds will help not only with the upkeep of the buildings at the Huntington County Fairgrounds, but helps make the entire 4-H experience better for all involved – and that everything donated goes back into the fairgrounds for future fairs.
“We are blessed with the community we are in,” Burnau says. “The backing we get from the community of Huntington helps to develop young kids.”
Vice President Nick Gressley echoes these thoughts about how 4-H develops young kids, and stresses how important it is to have a good 4-H Fair experience.
“4-H has a lot of multi-generational families in Huntington County, especially in livestock – but it’s also important because of the different avenues a young kids can go down,” Gressley says. “It’s not just about agriculture. It’s about hands-on experience. There are lots of opportunities for kids to try new things, learn new things. It’s just… it’s all about getting involved in your community, in a healthy environment. And the fair is a way for the kids to put all of their hard work on display.”
Gressley also notes how going through the process of completing a project and then having to discuss that project with a judge – whether it be an arts and crafts submission, a baked good or some other item – gives 4-H’ers a great way to practice interview skills that can be used when looking for a job.
In terms of the benefit auction, Gressley says that the fair association would like to see the community and local businesses involved in the 4-H Fair. He also hopes that more community members will plan to come out to the fairgrounds not just for the food or the livestock projects, but for everything the fair has to offer – and to show support to the kids.
“If you’re looking for something to be interested in, within your community, take a look at 4-H,” Gressley says. “There’s such a broad range of proejcts...there really is something for everyone.”
According to the recent Fair Association newsletter, there are several different ways that people can get involved with sponsoring the 4-H Fair, all of which will be available at the Benefit Auction. Doors will open at 4 p.m., followed by a pork chop dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. – during which time, items in the silent auction will beavailable for bidding, up until 7 p.m. The live auction will begin shortly after, with show sponsors and other advertising opportunities available.
“During the 4-H Benefit Auction, you will have the opportunity to bid on sponsorships for individual shows and events,” the newsletter reads. “Show programs for each of our animal shows will feature the name of the show sponsor and the sponsor’s name will be announced during the specific show.”
Sponsors are also available for:
• Spirit night on Wednesday evening of the fair.
• Trash pick-up during the fair.
• 4-H Fair clean-up day T-shirts.
Sponsors will also be listed on 4-H flyers and newspaper advertisements during the summer. Sponsors will be able to display a banner during the purchased show or event (maximum 3’x5’) and provided to the Purdue
Extension office several weeks prior to the sponsored event.
According to the newsletter, individuals and/or businesses may purchase a show or event sponsorship or several individuals or businesses may collaborate on the purchase of the show/event sponsorship. Any individuals wishing to collaborate will need to make such arrangements prior to the auction, as the fair association will only accept one bid at the time of the auction. These show/event sponsorships are a two-year commitment, with the final sale price being paid each year.
New to the benefit auction this year is advertising space in a newly designed and professionally printed 4-H Fair Guide/Program Booklet, which will be a glossy paper front and back printed booklet. The inside of the front cover, the inside of the back cover and the back cover will be available for auction, and there are plans to have at least 4,000 booklets printed and distributed to the community prior to and during the fair. These advertising spaces will also be a 2-year commitment and come in a variety of sizes.
The National Wild Turkey Federation will also be hosting gun raffles during the auction. There will be 52 tickets per drawing, with the responsibility of multiple drawings.
The bottom line, according to members of the fair association like Gressley and Burnau, is that 4-H isn’t just about agriculture projects and isn’t just for farm families – it’s for everyone, and is about becoming a well-rounded person and being involved in the community. And that community donations and involvement make the 4-H program work.
“We’re trying to develop young kids, show them different opportunities to grow and to develop a good heart to give back,” Burnau says. “And a good work ethic – that’s what we strive for. The atmosphere is good and has a lot of positivity, and we want to show kids what’s out there. Even the adults see it as a great thing and they feed off that positive atmosphere.”
Anyone with questions about the benefit auction may contact Chairperson Alan Amick at 672-2016 or any 4-H Fair Board member.