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John Mills among those hosting 4-H community night

BY: Andrew Manzella | November 02, 2012

Young people ages 5 – 19 in Erie County will have the chance to explore 4-H Club opportunities of all kinds, during the 4-H community night, scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 14 in the Swan Auditorium at Hilbert College, located at 5200 South Park Ave. in Hamburg. The public meeting will start at 7 p.m.
The meeting will offer information to young people looking to get involved in 4-H and to adults who are interested in volunteering and hosting individual clubs.
The event will be run by Erie County legislators John Mills, Lynne Dixon and Joseph Lorigo, in conjunction with the Cornell Cooperative Extension. The stated goal is to raise awareness about the “educational, skill-building programs that 4-H has available to children and young adults with varying interests,” according to a Cornell representative.
During the meeting, current 4-H educators will be present to answer questions and share their own experiences. 
“We want to showcase all the opportunities that are available in our program and are always welcoming new youth members as well as committed, adult volunteers,” said 4-H Educator Laurie Korb.
“I have toured the 4-H exhibits at the Erie County Fair and I am always impressed with the caliber of the projects and I just learned that Erie County won the most rosettes at this year’s New State Fair, a significant accomplishment,” Mills said. “Erie County’s 4-H program is outstanding and always needs more participants and volunteers, to build on its success.”
The 4-H organization originated more than 100 years ago. The club assists participants in activities that further their chosen hobbies and activities and benefits the local community.
The first clubs were primarily agriculture-themed. While 4-H programs still focus on individuals living in rural areas, residents of urban and suburban settings can also participate in the organization. Today, more than 40 programs are currently offered in the following categories: healthy living, natural resources, plant science and gardening, animal science, science and technology and community service.
“The 4-H program is important to youths because it gives them an opportunity to learn life skills, through research-driven, time-tested methods that promote leadership, skill building and civic engagement,” Korb said. “Children can participate in projects suited to their talents, interests and abilities, in a structured, club environment or as a more flexible, independent member.”
The four H’s in 4-H stand for head, hands, heart and health. According to Korb, the values associated with these symbols are incorporated into the daily lives of 4-H participants, to “build a foundation for life-long growth and learning. 4-H links kids with Cornell University, where youth can take part in statewide events and explore different career paths that they may like to consider.”
For more information about the meeting or to get involved in the 4-H program, contact Mills at 858-8850 or email john.mills@erie.gov. Korb is available at 652-5400 ext. 130 or llk47@cornell.edu.

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