Updated, April 11, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa — With food, entertainment and more than 125 auction packages, the Iowa 4-H Foundation's Fourth Annual Gala, presented by John Deere, raised $102,000 to support the Iowa 4-H program statewide and at the club level. Even some 4-H youth played a role in reaching this amount, which was nearly $29,000 more than the 2012 gala total.
“This year our auction included items donated by 15 Iowa 4-H members, which raised $2,145. Fifty percent of the proceeds from those items will be given to the members’ choice of their 4-H clubs or county endowment,” said Kris Fish Kuhlmann, executive director for the Iowa 4-H Foundation. The 4-H Foundation also collaborated with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Polk County to raise funds for the Polk County 4-H Endowment Fund.
The gala revenue total included $16,400 raised to send Iowa delegates to the National 4-H Conference. Major supporters included The Des Moines Register, David and Valerie Pace of Roseville, Minn., and Harry and Phyllis Davis of Williamsport, Md.
A sweet slice of the gala revenue, $11,050, came from the auction of 14 desserts. “When the first five desserts sold for $1,000 each, I knew our guests were not just hungry,” Kuhlmann said. “They were really out to support Iowa 4-H!” Other specialty items included a first-ever Tool Belt auction in conjunction with the highly anticipated Purse Auction, with 4-H “celebrities” serving as guest models, Kuhlman added.
Some 310 4-H supporters, a record crowd, attended the March 2 event at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown, Kuhlmann said. Guests included Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Hancock County 4-H’er Ashley Smeby, who shared her 4-H experiences and treated guests by singing “It’s Your Life,” by Francesca Batistelli.
“The generous bidding from attendees and online bidders was tremendous,” said Deb Pullin-Van Auken, board president of the Iowa 4-H Foundation. She noted that, before the event began, there were 126 online bids totaling $8,200. “We thank everyone, especially 4-H Gala sponsors Kinze Manufacturing Inc., Bruce Rastetter of Summit Farms, and Sigourney Tractor and Implement; and hospitality sponsors Firestone Ag Tires, Farm Bureau, Nationwide and Polk County Extension and Outreach, for their support,” Pullin-Van Auken said.
Table host sponsors included Bankers Trust; Farmer’s Cooperative; Heartland Marketing Group; Kris Fish Kuhlmann; Monsanto; Frank and Dorothy Clark; Nationwide Insurance; DuPont Pioneer; Successful Farming; Timmins, Kroll and Jacobsen LLP; and Pete and Dana Wenstrand. Copyworks of Ames was an in-kind sponsor, providing design and printing services.
Proceeds from the gala benefit the Iowa 4-H Foundation and its mission to support 4-H youth and 4-H youth programs offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.