Working tirelessly, they’re nearing fundraising goal

By: Jane Schuchardt

The green clover symbolizing the four H’s anchoring the 4-H motto – head, heart, hands, and health – is sprouting a new leaf in Antelope County. It stands for happiness.
Show chickens will puff their feathers, show rabbits will perk up their ears, and the youth, together with their families and adult volunteer leaders, can all feel it coming – a brand new building on the Antelope County Fairgrounds in Neligh. Work on the new climate-controlled structure is scheduled to begin right after county fair this summer with anticipated completion by April 2025.
Securing a general contractor and providing overall project oversight is the Antelope County Ag Society with Jeff Carr of Neligh serving as president. The new building, to replace three tattered and torn structures (one for rabbits, one for chickens, and the old concession stand) all just south of the covered show ring, takes something more than a wish on a four-leaf clover. It takes greenbacks and lots of them – a $400,000 target to be exact.
That was the capital fundraising goal led by the foursome of Anne Meis of Elgin, Rhonda Meyer of Neligh, Tessa Hain, Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development Coordinator, and Paige (Redding) Ringhoff of Elgin.
The first three gathered in the basement meeting room of the Antelope County Courthouse in Neligh to share the success of this monumental project launched in November 2021.
If you take the first letter of these three powerhouse women and put them together, you get the word ART. Fundraising is an art, coupled with hard work, an inarguable need, and a powerful statement of potential impact. Anne, Rhonda, and Tessa, together with Paige, artfully took this idea from zero to $364,000 (total at this writing).
None had fundraising experience in such a large scale, said Meis, who co-chaired the Youth Enrichment Center Leadership Team together with Meyer. The first step was engaging with a non-profit entity, in this case the Neligh Area Community Fund, an affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation.

—For the complete story, pick up a copy of the Elgin Review.