Wyoming State 4-H Foundation donations to counties increased by more than $53,000 in fiscal year 2013 for a total of $241,041.
There are more than 7,000 Wyoming 4-H’ers. The foundation and the 4-H program work to expose youths to subjects like animal science, technology and natural resources. 4-H’ers gain life skills such as self-confidence and problem solving.
The foundation is a non-profit organization and the fundraising arm of the 4-H program, said University of Wyoming 4-H Program coordinator Johnathan Despain.
“Its sole purpose is to generate income, take in donations and do fundraising to support the 4-H programming efforts,” he said.
Wyoming 4-H is celebrating 100 years of the partnership between the USDA, land-grant universities and state and county governments. Despain said funding has been reduced by those institutions, and 4-H has been able to regroup, but now more than ever, thefoundation’s role is critical.
“At some point in time, the program will either go away, or people are going to have to step up to make the program happen and figure out long-term sustainability plans,” he said. “We’re trying to, through the foundation, create those plans so our programs can continue on … so the kids always have the benefit for the long-haul.”
Long-term is the goal of foundation efforts.
The $53,000 increase in FY13 was due in part to successful fundraising events but also due to a long-term benefactor who died and left a large amount to the foundation.