Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


April 20, 2010

Small in number but large at heart, Lucas County 4-H club extends challenge

AMES — Not to be discouraged by their numbers, the small Country Clover 4-H club of Lucas County continues to do big things. The three-member club inspired 75 clubs, two county councils and two businesses in Iowa to respond to their community service challenge, and some of the clubs were more than 15 times their size.

“We’re an old club, but most of our members were seniors last year,” said their leader Tammie Ruth. For the club, however, their challenge was never about the numbers anyway. “The clubs didn’t tell us how much money they gave, but that’s not what we wanted to know anyway. We didn’t set an amount, and we don’t want to make it a contest.”

It started last November when the club decided to donate their annual pizza party funds to their local food bank and then challenged every county and 4-H club in the state to reach out to their local food pantries during the holiday season.

Some clubs sponsored a family or two in their county and bought gifts for every member. Others also bought food for their adopted families. They went to shelters and served food over the Christmas holiday. They organized bake sales. They hosted food drives, and many donated money or additional non-perishables to their local pantries. Like the Country Clovers hoped, though, it was hardly the size of the donations that mattered to many.

Small Efforts Aren't “Small”

“You find out that small things are not small at all,” said Laurie Pemberson, leader of the Go Getters 4-H Club of Washington County. “It makes a big difference to someone else, and it makes a big difference in their (the 4-H’ers) character.”

Fellow Washington County 4-H club leader Nancy Adrian agreed. “It makes a big impact on the community when they see kids pitching in and taking part in service, and it’s definitely important for the kids. They need to share part of the responsibility in supporting the community,” said the leader of the Good Luck 4-H Club.

4-H'ers Give Back to Communities Year-Round

These efforts, however, are only a small sample of what 4-H’ers do all year long. Planting trees, picking up trash in parks, helping out at community fundraisers, maintaining the state 4-H camp, building benches and picnic tables for their community, landscaping and painting county fairgrounds, sending care packages to soldiers overseas and cleaning roadside ditches are only a fraction of what 4-H clubs across the state do year-round to give back to their communities.

“When the challenge came out we knew we would participate because we’re a very service-oriented club,” said Karla Kenne, leader of the Lott’s Creek Lassies and Lads of Kossuth County. “It’s not just about community service now either. It’s for when they get older too.”

Murray Monson, leader of the Harrison Hilltop Hornets all-boys 4-H club of Boone County, agreed. “The 4-H motto about giving your head, heart, hands and health says it all,” he said. “I have two boys ages 24 and 26, and they continue to go places and volunteer. It all started with 4-H and helping people. 4-H is a beginning.”

Those exact things are what Ruth and the Country Clovers hope to encourage with their extended challenge deadline. They have already put together a three-ring binder and display of all the newspaper clippings and pictures they received from clubs that responded to the initial challenge, and they hope to hear from more clubs across the state by May 31 to add to their project.

“A lot of people think they have to do something above and beyond what they normally do to respond to the challenge. We want them to be aware that a lot of clubs already do community service and recognize those that do,” said Ruth, “and we just hope people will continue to give. Hunger has no season.”

About the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program

4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, serving more than 6 million young people across America with programs in leadership, citizenship, communication and life skills. One in five Iowa school-age youth participates in 4-H. In Iowa, 4-H Youth Development is headquartered at the Iowa State University campus in Ames. 4-H is supported by federal, state and county funding, private grants and donations, and fees. For more information about joining 4-H, contact your Iowa State University Extension county office at or visit

Text Only
  • B.V. Sodbusters at Appanoose County Fair Members of the B.V. Sodbusters 4-H club invite Appanoose County fairgoers to visit the Exhibit Building to check out 4-H projects and the various animals in the barns.Members of the B.V. Sodbusters club have worked very hard the past year with helpin

    July 15, 2014

  • 052814 Centerville FFA Photo Centerville FFA chapter banquet held The Centerville FFA held their chapter banquet on Saturday, May 10 at 6 p.m. at the Lakeview cafeteria. Awards were given out to many of the members. The Star Green Hand Award went to Malinda Rupalo. To get the Star Green Hand Award one must enroll

    May 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vote for Putnam County to win 'Fairground Facelift' Putnam County Fairground in Unionville, Mo. was named one of 10 finalists competing for a Fairground Facelift grant sponsored by Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. Grinnell Mutual invites the public to vote for its favorite project on its Front Por

    May 14, 2014

  • 051414 Sebolt Photo Fair dedicated to Curtis Sebolt The 2014 Appanoose County Fair is dedicated to Curtis Sebolt in appreciation for the many years of dedication to the Appanoose County Fair. Sebolt has lived in Appanoose County all of his life. He first became involved in the fair by joining the Fran

    May 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cool, wet weather hinders farmers Mark McGill, president of Appanoose County Farm Bureau, Wednesday afternoon said the cool and wet weather last week did affect planting a little bit but farmers in the last few days have been making great progress. He said lately it's been drying out

    May 9, 2014

  • 050614 FFA LC Photo 2 Centerville FFA packages meals The Centerville FFA Chapter attended the 86th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference April 27-29 in Ames. This year's conference theme was ignite (LEADERSHIP, GROWTH, SUCCESS). The Centerville FFA members attending were: Jake Hengstenberg, Melissa Chapman,

    May 6, 2014 2 Photos

  • 043014 Rescue Equipment Photo Accepts rescue equipment The Centerville Fire Department now have the tools necessary to rescue a person trapped in a grain bin, according to a press release issued by the Centerville Fire Department. Centerville Produce and Feed donated a grain bin rescue tube and Smith Fe

    April 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farming impact in Appanoose County A look at what farming in Appanoose County contributes to the economy during Ag Week, March 24-28. Information supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture. In 2007, there were 731 farms in Appanoose County with an average size of 271 acre

    March 27, 2014

  • Renew Rural Iowa Program expands WEST DES MOINES -- Iowa Farm Bureau's Renew Rural Iowa program, which has helped more than 2,500 Iowans successfully own and grow their business since the program launched in 2006, is bringing new offerings to Iowa entrepreneurs in 2014. New seminar

    March 25, 2014

  • MCM training Monroe and Appanoose County landowners and operators are invited to attend an information/training session on CRP Mid Contract Management on Wednesday, March 26. Kevin Anderson, a DNR wildlife biologist, will discuss and answer questions on MCM along

    March 19, 2014

  • Agriculture, crop and livestock sales increased DES MOINES -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today said the recently released 2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary data show Iowa has seen dramatic increases in the total value of agriculture production, value of crops sold and value of

    February 28, 2014

  • Local farmer wins $2,500 for Franklin Farmhands Ernie Schmell of Appanoose County has been selected as a winner in America's Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. Schmell selected Franklin Farmhands 4H to receive the $2,500 donation in Appanoose County. Members of the Franklin

    February 26, 2014

  • Award to recognize Iowa's farm families DES MOINES -- The Iowa State Fair, Tractor Supply Co. and WHO News Radio 1040 are searching for six farm families to recognize with the Way We Live Award at the 2014 Fair, Aug. 7-17. These families must exemplify farm values derived from hard work an

    February 8, 2014

  • Livestock production program for 4-H to be developed AMES -- Youth participating in 4-H are the focus of a new Iowa State University livestock education program. Amy Powell was recently hired to help develop an online curriculum to teach youth in 4-H about raising livestock. The new Extension and Outre

    February 8, 2014

  • 020614 4-H Awards Photo 4-H holds awards ceremony On Saturday, Jan. 11 the Appanoose County 4-H program held their awards banquet to celebrate the successes and achievements of the youth involved in 4-H. The evening began with a welcome by members of the Appanoose County 4-H Youth Council. The prese

    February 6, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads

The Iowegian wants readers to think about the 2014 Appanoose County Fair. It starts Monday and wraps up on Saturday with a demolition derby at 8 p.m. So, the question of the week is, "How many days do you plan to go to the Appanoose County Fair?

A. I plan to attend all six days.
B. I plan to attend five days.
C. I plan to attend four days.
D. I plan to attend three days.
E. I plan to attend two days.
F. I plan to attend one day.
G. I do not plan to go to the fair this year.
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook