By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
The Lethbridge Northern 4-H Beef Club (LN4H) have more than doubled previous annual fundraising efforts thanks to the generous support of the farming community.
The LN4H club recently held their annual Show & Sale on May 31 at Alberton Farms, just outside of the Town of Picture Butte. Community supporters of the event raised a whopping $83,650 to be donated local charities, smashing the previous charity record of the club by more than double.
The event kicked off with a skills showcase in the show ring, where the 20 young members exhibited their high-quality market-ready steers to the audience. The showcase was followed by a roast beef dinner, where all the beef was generously donated by Cattlemen’s Chophouse in Picture Butte.
Members of this 75-year-old club range from the ages of 9-20 and have worked tirelessly on their market beef projects throughout the year.
After the dinner, a charity auction was held. As per the tradition of the club, a calf raised throughout the season is sold at the annual sale and the proceeds are donated to a local charity. This year the calf was donated to the club by Alberta Prime Beef, and club members voted to distribute the proceeds between two local charities: the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association and the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen, in memory of Darryl Groenenboom, a long-time leader of the club who passed away in March, 2023. Yvonne, Darryl’s widow, and family were present at the sale
General Leader of the Club, Treena Van Hierden said the club was, “blown away by the level of support shown and we feel that it was a wonderful way to honour (Groenenboom’s) memory as a club leader. Darryl’s family expressed their heartfelt gratitude to everyone for the kindness and generosity shown. The remaining half of the charity proceeds are to be donated to the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association, a local organization that provides equine-facilitated wellness programs for individuals with disabilities.”
Van Hierden added her personal reaction to the outpouring of support from the local community is, “one of deep gratitude.”
“Mr. Darryl Groenenboom was a long-time leader of the Lethbridge Northern 4-H Beef Club and was highly respected for his leadership and encouragement. Our club chose to donate half of the charity proceeds to a charity of his family’s choice, the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen, as Darryl loved to help those in need by serving meals there. “
“I believe the most valuable aspect for our youth members is the opportunity they have to learn through hands-on experience,” and added the 4-H Alberta’s motto is to learn to do, by doing, “every step of the way, (members) are involved in selecting their calves, feeding and raising them with the highest standards of care and finally showing and selling them to local buyers at our annual show and auction sale,” said Van Hierden.
“The experience they gain through this annual project helps them grow in confidence, knowledge of the local cattle industry, showmanship skills, and decision making.”
Van Hierden emphasized the club’s gratitude toward the various supporters and volunteers who support the LN4H club.
“Local 4-H clubs like ours would not be possible without (their) generosity and encouragement every year. Our members are very thankful for the opportunity to help out in some way and there were big smiles all around, and even a few tears, as we watched the donations pouring in during the live auction.”
The LN4H club will celebrate their 75th anniversary as part of Picture Butte’s Jamboree Days Parade in August before kicking off the 2023-2024 season in the fall.