11/16/2018 2:11:00 PM Friends of Youth Benefit distributes $6,843 to youth exhibiting at State Fair
The Cass County Friends of Youth State Fair Scholarship Fund awarded $6,843 to 26 county 4-Hers this year to help defray their expenses for exhibiting at the State Fair.
Backus residents Barb Frederick and Leo and Sue Elyea, co-chairs of the committee, announced the amount of the fair scholarship awards financed by fundraising, including donations and a June benefit golf tournament at Tianna Country Club at Walker.
"We again thank all those who supported the fundraising this year," Frederick said. "It enabled us to help all the 4-Hers who won with projects at the country level and attended the State Fair with their expenses," Frederick said. She noted that nine 4-Hers who attended also went to the dog and horse show competition held after the State Fair.
The fundraising drive and golf tournament was supported by individuals, businesses and organizations, including veterans groups.
The scholarships help pay for travel, lodging, meals and entry fees for a large variety of exhibits, including home environment, photography, computer science, entomology, geology, carpentry, clothing, youth in action (speech), crafts, youth leadership, and animals, including livestock. Entry fees alone, for examples, range from $135 to $150 for non-animal events. Animal fees includes $240 for beef, $150 for dairy goats, $150 for rabbits, $100 for poultry, $140 for sheep and market goats, $145 for breeding and market swine, $145 for horses, plus $5 for each class of horse competition.
Additional significant costs include animal transportation, feed and tack supplies and gate admission for families and their children. The committee was able to help families with costs that vary depending on events entered and required length of stay in St. Paul, but the assistance does not cover all the expenses incurred by the participants and their families.
The Cass County State Fair participants won several state champion and reserve champion awards in livestock, dog and general exhibits. The scholarship committee hopes their financial assistance has helped renew interest in county 4H membership in recent years, including 90 new youth joining in the last year.
Typical of the thank-you letters received by the committee was this one from Samuel Sauber of Motley:
"I brought my Dutch rabbit to the fair, and she won her bred, and got an honorary mention for best in show, so she won 3rd place in the state. Thank you again for everything you do."
Alex Stanhnke of Nisswa:
"Thanks for making my first State Fair experience awesome."
From Dixie Rowell of Pine River who won two ribbons and finished high in horse competition:
"I just want you guys to know that we thank you for the funding."
This was the sixth year of the golf tournament and fundraising organized by Frederick and the Elyeas. The three came up with the idea in 2013 when they were concerned that many Cass County youth who won contests at the county level were unable to afford the expenses associated with the trip to St. Paul. Leo Elyea, an avid golfer, organized the golf tournament in addition to assisting with other donations.
Supporting groups, businesses, organizations and individuals sponsored golf teams, purchased hole sponsorships and donated cash, prizes, advertising and other services to the golf tournament or made direct contributions to the fund.
"We are deeply grateful for the generosity of area businesses, organizations and individuals for helping our youth get to St. Paul for what for them is a very rewarding experience," Frederick and the Elyeas said in a joint statement accompanying the awards announcement.