Saturday night was a time for members and supporters of the world’s largest youth organization to celebrate100 years of existence.
The 4-H program, which began in 1902, was established to teach youth leadership, career skills, sportsmanship and community service, said Jan Carrol, 4-H Youth Development coordinator.
“The impacts that 4-H has made on youth, families and communities around the nation is immeasurable,” said Doug Steele, 4-H Youth Development director, in a recent press release. “In Colorado alone, the program has touched hundreds of thousands of children throughout the years, molding youth into responsible, knowledgeable, self-empowered citizens that have gone on to become significant figures in the leadership of governments, businesses and communities.”
More than 350 past and present 4-H members and leaders, as well as numerous sponsors, attended the black-tie celebration Saturday night, honoring 35 people who helped make the Colorado 4-H program a success over the past 50 years, Carrol said.
“The visionaries helped move 4-H forward,” Carrol said. “Many families have been active in the 4-H for three, four, five generations.”
Faith Poet, a senior consumer and family studies major, attended the event Saturday night. Poet, an active collegiate 4-H member, participated in home economics activities during her nine-year membership prior to college.
“The most important thing I learned (in 4-H) was communicating, problem-solving, and decision-making,” Poet said. “I’ve met people from far and near. 4-Hers are incredible, dynamic people.”
The celebration, themed “A Grand Moment in Time,” also marked the 50th anniversary of the Colorado 4-H division. During the evening, money was raised for the Colorado Youth Fund, the primary financing for 4-H clubs throughout the state. A Broadmoor vacation, elk hunting and a Durango adventure were auctioned off, raising money for 4-H members to attend leadership conferences and camps throughout the year. Many timepieces were also part of a silent auction for the Colorado Youth Fund.
Poet, who hopes to be able to travel abroad next year, is applying to be an exchange student with the International 4-H Youth Exchange program, also sponsored by the Colorado Youth Fund. If she is selected to be a part of IFYE, she will be able to travel to Europe, experience the culture and work alongside a family for six months.
“The 4-H has taken me a lot of places,” Poet said. “Hopefully, next year it will take me overseas.”
Edited by Shandra Jordan