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Fundraisers canceled: 4-H seeks Summer Fun Camp sponsors

COVID-19 has hampered donations and prevented annual fundraisers for many organizations last year and continuing into this year.

Davie County 4-H is no exception.

The organization that serves nearly 400 youth annually across Davie and surrounding counties, saw a dramatic decline in funding due to limited donations and fundraisers. The biggest fundraiser, the Davie 4-H Golf Tournament, that generally brings in $4,000, had to be canceled last year. Due to guidance from NC State University, that oversees Davie County 4-H, and outdoor gathering limits at this time, this year’s Davie 4-H Golf Tournament has also been canceled.

“This was a very hard decision for us,” says Danny Lough, Davie County 4-H Extension agent. “We want to ensure everyone stays safe during this time and an in-person spring fundraiser does not allow us to do that. The funds earned from the golf tournament go directly to serving youth in our community through our clubs, camps, school enrichment, and STEM programs. Thanks to these funds, we can offer all these programs at little to no cost for our Davie families, which allows every youth an opportunity for a fun and educational experience.”

One of Davie County 4-H’s largest youth opportunities is the Davie 4-H Summer Fun Camps that serve nearly 100 children annually and allow a safe and educational opportunity for families that need summer child care.

The 4-H Summer Fun Camps are education-based and teach youth about life skills or science that they may not be getting in school or at home.

“We usually offer about a dozen camps each summer. Our camps are incredibly diverse and each one teaches a set of life skills that youth can take with them.

“We also try to get volunteers who are very knowledgeable in the field they are teaching. For instance, our Davie County Master Gardeners help lead our Junior Master Gardener Camp, where youth learn more about gardening. For our Chef and the Child camp, one of our local Davie County chefs actually teaches the kids cooking skills and healthy recipes. Our Hunting Skills camp is led by our Davie 4-H Shooting Sports instructor and teaches youth about firearm safety and wildlife identification,” Lough said.

Davie County Farm Bureau and United Way of Davie County donate funds annually to help cover some of the costs of camps. However, these funds are limited and without additional funding, the costs of these camps would have to increase to cover insurance and travel expenses; possibly pricing out many families traditionally served by Davie 4-H Summer Fun.

That’s where an idea sparked.

“What if we got businesses to sponsor our Summer Fun Programs? We usually have sponsors for our golf tournament, but this time we can get sponsorships directly for our 4-H Summer Fun Camps,” Lough said.

Davie 4-H will recognize contributing business support by placing the company’s logo on 4-H Summer Fun Camp shirts and highlighting participating businesses on social media and newsletter. Businesses may directly sponsor a camp or the entire camp program. If interested, contact Lough at danny_lough@ncsu.edu or call (336) 753-6100.