Making the Match: Building County 4-H Endowments
Nearly $500,000 has been committed to support local 4-H endowment funds across the state thanks to the Make the Match County 4-H Endowment Campaign, one of the priorities for The Campaign for Michigan 4-H’s Future.
Chippewa County 4-H, one of the now 31 counties participating in the campaign, set an endowment goal of $50,000, the maximum that can be matched by the Michigan 4-H Foundation.
Chippewa County’s 4-H Endowment campaign chairs are James Moore, Chippewa County 4-H volunteer leader and 4-H council chair, and Lindsey Kromemeyer, Chippewa County 4-H teen volunteer with oversight from the Chippewa County 4-H Council.
“With this endowment we would have money to help keep our 4-H program going,” Moore said. “I was a county commissioner for 10 years while I sat on the 4-H council as vice chair. I saw the council give out and take in money that kept 4-H alive.”
Over the past year of the campaign, Chippewa County 4-H has raised nearly $13,000 from 4-H clubs and local businesses who have proved to be strong partners in this endeavor.
“We picked the higher goal. We’re still trying to reach half of our donations from private individuals which may be the hardest part,” Moore said. “We’re trying to get the word out.”
In June last year, the council held the first Burger Bash, a fundraiser for the Chippewa County 4-H Endowment held at the local Elks Lodge.
“We are really looking forward to the Burger Bash again,” said Melanie Greenfield, Chippewa County 4-H program coordinator. “The Silver Spurs 4-H Club is taking leadership this year.”
Additionally, the local Tractor Supply Store has hosted a carnival and been very supportive of 4-H.
“Our TSC store is amazing!” Greenfield said. “They’ve paid for a popcorn machine, cotton candy, etc.!”
In addition, the county has done mailings to garner support. Greenfield feels this has raised the most awareness of the campaign.
“Most of the people buying tickets to the Burger Bash are already 4-H supporters. After the first mailing last year, we received a lot of contacts from others not currently involved with 4-H,” she explained.
“We want to show we are working hard to preserve our future,” Greenfield said. “We have to invest in our youth. 4-H connects kids with positive adults in the community and provides fun, hands-on learning opportunities.”
Annual earnings from the fund’s investment can provide annual support for current 4-H program delivery, including scholarships for 4-H youth out-of-county experiences and participation fees, purchase of or development of new program and learning materials, or any future areas of great need to advance the county 4-H program.
Additional counties currently participating in the Make the Match campaign are: Allegan, Arenac, Branch, Calhoun, Chippewa, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Houghton/Keweenaw, Ingham, Ionia, Kalkaska, Lapeer, Lenawee, Macomb, Mason, Midland, Montcalm, Muskegon, Oakland, Ottawa, Sanilac, St. Joseph, Washtenaw and Wayne.
Kent, Osceola and Shiawassee counties have already met the maximum match of $50,000.