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A boost for 4-H

Growmark FS donates fuel funds to 4-H Foundation

-Messenger photo by Elijah Decious
Growmark FS’ Fuel The Thin Blue Line program donated more than $1,600 to the Webster County 4-H Foundation Monday. From left to right are Sheriff Luke Fleener, Eric Hippen, Matt Johnson, Jason Stauffer, Karen Amman, Amie Kallansrud, John Dencklau and Lindsay Kavanaugh.

The Webster County 4-H Foundation received a substantial boost from local drivers Monday thanks to a donation from Growmark FS.

From July to December, the company’s “Fuel the Thin Blue Line” program generated $1,673 to help 4-H’ers with the funding they need to recover after a year of many canceled trips and events like the Webster County Fair.

Through the program, businesses or individuals can apply for a fuel card used at Fast Stop pumps. For each gallon of gas purchased, 3 cents is donated. This year’s first donation means the program benefitted from nearly 55,800 gallons purchased. Top donors to the program include MP Enterprises, Kemna Auto of Fort Dodge, Graham Tire and the Webster County Sheriff’s Office.

“The goal of the program is to give back to the community, and in the past, we’ve donated money to Crime Stoppers and some specialty programs,” said Sheriff Luke Fleener.

This year, the biggest donors felt 4-H deserved the funds to get kids back to showing their 4-H projects.

“Collectively, we thought this was a good place to do that,” said Fleener, whose agricultural background puts the foundation close to his heart. “We didn’t have a fair last year, so this’ll help the kids a little bit.”

“It made complete sense,” added Jason Stauffer, manager at Growmark FS.

The fuel program has been in Webster County for about four years.

Lindsay Kavanaugh, director of the foundation, said the funds will go wherever they’re needed to help their participants achieve the greatest potential.

“We were thinking (of using the funds for) the shooting sports program. We look at whatever areas are in need and donate it however it’ll benefit the 4-H’ers,” she said. “The foundation gives scholarships, money for trips and just opportunities for 4-H kids.”

Though she said the pandemic didn’t impact the generosity of their donors, it did impact the events they were able to do. Participants in the mainstay agricultural program are excited to attend the Webster County Fair in the works for this year.

“Our goal is to increase awareness of the (fuel donation) program,” Fleener said. “If anyone wants to be part of it, they can get an application here or at the Sheriff’s Office.”

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