December 8, 2004 | By: Laura Skillman
BRANDENBURG, Ky.

Poinsetta

Finding a way to raise money for club activities and events can be a challenge, but a number of 4-H clubs have hit on one that generates needed funds while also providing holiday cheer.

For at least 16 years, 4-H clubs in Meade Countyhave sold poinsettias as a fund-raiser and because of its popularity, they don’t have to worry about finding other ways to supply money for club activities throughout the year.

“We use the money to help provide some camp scholarships and transportation,” said Carole Goodwin, Meade County 4-H Youth Development agent. “We also use it to buy our trophies and ribbons and to buy project books so we don’t have to put that cost on to the kids. This money helps us keep that cost away from the 4-Hers. It also helps with our awards banquet, trips and registration fees for state competitions. We try our best to keep the costs at an absolute minimum to the students. We also provide a $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior each year and this money helps us do that.” 

The traditional red poinsettias remain the most popular. This year’s other popular varieties are white glitter and burgundy, said Sue Ellen Stull, 4-H staff assistant.

The event attracts people wanting to add some colorful cheer to their homes for the Christmas holidays as well as businesses getting into the decorative spirit. In addition, residents from the Anchor House, an adult mentally challenged living facility in the community, get into the holiday spirit unloading the 1,300 poinsettias and sorting them into the different colors.

“They were here this morning to help us unload our first order of plants,” Goodwin said. “It gives them the opportunity to do some community service, plus it helps us get those plants out of the truck.”

The poinsettias sales are a short term fund-raiser, which is nice, she said. Plus, it provides people with something they enjoy getting.

"People get a product that they are happy to have and it just helps everyone get into the Christmas spirit,” she said.

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

A little spirited competition is shown among club members as they vie to be the top seller in the county and the winner of a cash prize. Top sellers at each school within the county also receive a cash award. Alex Richardson, 13, was the county’s top seller this year with 101 plants sold.

“I sold to my church, called people that I’ve called every year that usually bought some and my mother helped me sell through her homemakers club,” he said. “I enjoy helping our 4-H club so we will have more money for workshops and programs. I know some people who have bought these for many years and I have a lot of people ask about them.”

Alex, a 4-H member for four years, participates in a number of 4-H activities including livestock shows, arts and crafts, and demonstrations.

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Contact: 

Writer: Laura Skillman 270-365-7541 ext. 278
Source: Carole Goodwin, 270-422-4958