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Sac County 4-H members set inspiring example

16-year-old starts movement that yields $22,000 for fairgrounds

Justin Rupnow believes that, as he puts it, ”a small spark can start a fire.”

The 16-year-old 4-H member from Sac County put that belief to work recently in a way that had nothing to do with flames. Instead, it had everything to do with a financial windfall for the Sac County Fairgrounds that will last long after Rupnow attends his last 4-H event.

The fairgrounds where he has spent so much time and learned so many lessons are in need of some upgrades. The fair board plans to replace the show ring and the beef and sheep barn. But that can’t be done cheaply, a fact Rupnow realizes.

So just before the auction that concludes the fair, he decided to contribute $200 from his auction proceeds to the effort to replace those facilities.

Other 4-H members followed his lead. As each youth pledged their donation to the cause, the bids started hitting record highs. Historically, bids at this auction are in the $300 to $1,000 range. But this year, bidders were inspired by the pledges of the 4-H members and bids routinely started hitting $1,000.

When Dakota Powell pledged all of his auction proceeds to the fairgrounds project. the bidding reached a feverish pitch, concluding with a $4,000 winning bid.

The generosity of those young people racked up $22,000 for the fairgrounds project.

Those 4-H members could have used their auction proceeds to recoup some of the money they spent raising their animals. Or they could have saved it for their future educations. But it was more important to them to give that money to the effort to improve the Sac County Fairgrounds.

That is inspiring.

It shows that there is a young generation of Iowans that is willing to put their community before themselves.

We hope the community spirit of those Sac County 4-H members is a source of inspiration for everyone.