Saskatchewan 4-H foundation celebrates 60 years

by 4-H Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan 4-H Foundation has been celebrating 60 years during 2020 and wrapped up celebrations on January 30, with a 4-H takeover of the CJWW Old Tyme Dance Party.

The 60th Anniversary year of the Foundation has definitely been something worth celebrating – 2020 has shown the resilience and dedication of 4-H supporters coming together to ensure the long-term sustainability of the 4-H program, helping to empower youth for generations to come, through both good and challenging times.

“Things may have not gone as originally planned, but 2020 really exemplified just why the 60th Anniversary truly is something worth celebrating,” Development Officer Shelby Corey said.

“We are celebrating the generosity of our supporters over the past 60 years, and the way the 4-H family has stepped up during this anniversary year, during 2020, has been absolutely amazing. We are incredibly thankful for this support, which will allow us to meet the needs of 4-H youth both now and for future generations.”

Anniversary celebrations started on March 10, 2020, at the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities Annual Convention, connecting with many alumni and enjoying anniversary cake alongside some 4-H Saskatchewan history and an announcement by MLA Lyle Stewart at the Saskatchewan Legislature.

During these initial celebrations, a goal of $60,000 for 60 years was set. This was a large goal, but one which will have a lasting impact on youth for generations to come. Thanks to the many supporters who have stepped up throughout 2020, not only was this goal achieved, but more than quadrupled this goal.

Part of the campaign was an online Diamond Discovery campaign, where 4-H members, alumni, and supporters could share their Diamond Discovery Stories to showcase how 4-H has helped them and/or others to discover their inner diamond, because the 60th Anniversary is also known as the Diamond Anniversary.

The Saskatchewan 4-H Foundation is thankful to the support of everyone who donated throughout the year, to make the 4-H program continue to be strong for future generation. Although the organization was unable to host many of its usual events during the pandemic, everyone still supported it through new initiatives, such as an online auction and the Going Green campaign, where Saskatchewan 4-H Council Board President Glenn Gress stepped up to raise funds to support the program, by vowing to dye his hair green if enough donations were received.

In addition to exciting celebrations, the Foundation also received support from new and existing donors.

Long-time 4-H supporter, Bill Cooper, helped deliver two $3,000 scholarships for 4-H members or alumni who had shown leadership during the pandemic.

There was also a new major gift donated during 2020, from Brian Hesje, in the amount of $250,000.

The funds will be used to help 4-H Saskatchewan modernize service delivery through technology and operational efficiency, allowing more time and resources to go directly to supporting youth.

A second portion of the gift will be used to support the development of an alumni strategy and programs for the continued development of 4-H alumni and volunteers.