4-H program celebrates success | SteamboatToday.com

4-H program celebrates success

Gary E. Salazar

— The Routt County 4-H program wrapped up one of its most successful years in its 72-year history.

The 10 clubs in Routt County combined to raise money for a new indoor arena at the Routt County Fairgrounds and raised the most money ever during their livestock sale at the county fair.

“This has been one of the most exciting years, especially with the fund-raising for the new facility,” said Jay Whaley, Routt County 4-H youth agent.

The clubs in Routt County raised close to $37,000 for the indoor arena through a variety of fund-raisers that included a truck raffle and penny drive.

“It was neat to see the kids recognize a need that went all the way to the county commissioners,” he said.

Despite the money they have raised, the clubs will continue to raise money for the $500,000 indoor arena. Routt County is funding a portion of the cost of the building. The local clubs have a goal of raising $50,000 for the building.

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This year was also a record for the amount of money raised for the livestock competitions during the Routt County Fair.

When all the animals that had been raised by 4-H members had been auctioned off, $204,000 was spent.

“That was the highest we have ever had,” Whaley said. “The great thing about this is 80 percent of that money goes to a member’s education after high school, whether it is a college or a technical school.”

A local member also was awarded a prestigious 4-H award that is given to one member in the state.

In June, Hayden’s Daleena Babcock was awarded the Outstanding Junior Leadership Award at the state 4-H conference.

Babcock joins last year’s winner, Megan Baker, as having the distinction of being a winner from Routt County.

“The kids are not only dedicated to the county but also throughout the state,” Whaley said.

To celebrate the accomplishments in 2000, the clubs recently held the annual awards dinner in Hayden.

During the banquet that was held Saturday, Hayden’s Critter Club was selected as being the county’s most outstanding. Individual awards were also given.

A special presentation was also given to the family of the late Bobby Robinson Sr.

The Routt County Fair barbecue will bear Robinson’s name because of his contributions to the fair, 4-H and the barbecue.

The clubs also recognized individuals and sponsors that have helped the county program.

The clubs honored Dean Vogelaar, John Centner of Steamboat Motors, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., Clarice Dean and Doug Meacham.

With an enrollment of 243 members and 72 leaders, Whaley expects for the county program to get stronger.

“Next year is the 100th anniversary for 4-H,” Whaley said. “We will be celebrating this throughout the county because we do have a lot of tradition here.”