The Irricana 4H Beef and Multi Club will be holding its annual bottle drive fundraiser until Jan. 14.
The busy club enjoyed another successful year this year, said club leader Shirley Senger.
“This year we have 60 members,” Senger explained in a recent interview with Rocky View Weekly. “We have kids from Strathmore, Chestermere, Conrich, Airdrie, Acme, Linden and Irricana … We have beef projects, sheep, small engine repair, welding, and archery. This year we have a few kids doing vet sciences also.”
It’s a far cry from where the club was six years ago when Senger first took over as leader. At that time, there were only eight kids left in the club. It’s wonderful to see the Irricana 4H club thriving again, she said, but it also presents its challenges.
“It’s a little overwhelming some days,” she admitted.
According to Senger, the money raised from the annual bottle drive goes to pay for supplies for members' various projects, helps with facility rentals for public speaking events, pays for additional clinics on animal care and other areas of project interest, and provides year-end bursaries to members.
“We don’t go door-to-door on a specific day,” she explained. “We just start collecting around Christmas time, and be ready. And we usually have a trailer at some location and put the bottles in there. And for some members who can’t get to the location, we ask them to take care of the bottles themselves and bring in the receipts and the cash. It’s a good part of our income for the year, for sure.”
Senger said through their 4H projects and other public events her members learn more about agriculture, managing their own business, and practical skills related to animal husbandry or small engine repair.
“The main objective with 4H, and having the different projects, is the kids learn a lot of different things like responsibility or planning a project,” Senger explained. “They must do public speaking within the club. That helps them with their projects– talking about their showmanship, grooming or displaying … They learn through their projects to work, and every one of them has a record book to break down their costs, profits and projections.”
And, at the end of the day, Senger said her 4H members also learn about the value of community and supporting one another as each member strives for personal success in his or her own projects.
“A big part of what we do is community,” Senger stated. “Our community supports our kids and shows them encouragement, and makes them want to be more involved in the club. It makes them more interested in completing their projects– knowing the community is behind them. And we, in turn, go back and participate in the community.”
For more information on the Irricana 4H Beef and Multi Club Bottle Drive visit the club’s Facebook page or call 403-818-4217.