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Harvest of Fun supports 4-H year-round (video)

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Sept. 16, 2012 at 4:16 a.m.
Updated Sept. 17, 2012 at 4:17 a.m.

Levi Marbach, 8, of Victoria, sits in a bucket of corn after searching for the last bit of candy hidden in the bucket as a part of the harvest games  at the Victoria County 4-H Harvest of Fun.

When Madalynn Kainer was 8 years old, she joined the District 11 Coast Bend 4-H organization.

Nine years later, after securing more than $5,000 for college participating in 4-H programs, the 17-year-old St. Joseph High School senior is leading others to follow her path.

"I just enjoy seeing the younger kids enjoy it as much as I do. I've had so many beneficial experiences in 4-H and it's shown me how to be a better leader and community servant," said Kainer, the District 11 4-H vice-chairman and Texas 4-H State Council member.

On Sunday, Kainer assisted with the 24th Victoria County Harvest of Fun at the Victoria Community Center, which annually raises about $12,000 to $17,000 to ensure area 4-H members are funded throughout the year.

"Agriculture gives so much back to the community. It provides food for where we live, but it's more than that," Kainer said. "4-H not just about cows and plows, it's about making a difference."

A live and silent auction, and mini-carnival made up the fundraising efforts, which included an assortment of high-dollar items.

Some of the items in the live auction included University of Texas and Texas A&M University college football packages, a plantable tree with cash tied to the branches, home decor baskets, and assorted baked goods.

Alyssa Smith, 4-H youth services county extension agent, said the Harvest of Fun funds projects for members throughout the year, such as district entry fees, educational programs and travel to state competitions.

"The money goes to help the kids. We never want to turn away any kid that wants to participate," Smith said.

Kainer has seen what the fundraiser has done for her 4-H accomplishments through the years.

"They've paid for me to go to training and provided a lot of opportunities," she said.

Kainer encourages area youth to consider joining 4-H for the skills it can provide and doors it can open later in life.

"You may not see the benefits of it right away, but once you get into high school and college, you'll definitely see what it can do for you," she said. "And anything you want to do, there's a program for you ... it's definitely worth it."



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