4-H: A Lean, Green, Fundraising Machine

4-H'ers show off their participatory metals.
4-H’ers show off their participatory metals.

IMPERIAL – Local 4-H’ers and 4-H supporters of all ages came out Saturday, May 23, to participate in the 1st Annual Color Me Green 3k and 5k color run. The color run was put on by the local 4-H All Star team: Steven Johnson, Carlos Lopez, and Bryanne Sanchez.

Sitting in a large bucket of green powder, a volunteer 4-H’er popped up to threw green-colored powder all over runners who crossed the finish line .

4-H waits for the opportune moment to pop up and surprise runners with green powder.
A 4-H’er waits for the opportune moment to pop up and surprise runners with green powder.

Each year a 4-H committee interviews and chooses a few outstanding 4-H members who are committed to making a difference in their community to become All Stars. These All Stars have many responsibilities including creating an ‘action plan’ on an event or service project that will benefit others. This year the All Stars decided to put on a color run to benefit the eight 4-H youths who are participating in the California and Washington Focus trips.

“We (the 4-H All Stars) went to a State Leadership Conference and they were talking about a state wide 4-H color run. We thought this would be a fun way to raise money for the trips,” said All Star and 4-H State Ambassador Steven Johnson, “We’re really hoping it’s going to become an annual event.”

These 4-H members who have pledged their head to clear thinking and hearts to greater loyalty were putting their hands (and feet) to greater service by participating in the run.

The money raised by the color run participants will help send four 4-H members to California Focus and four 4-H members to Washington Focus. These are study and travel trips offered by the 4-H Youth Development Program that provide members with a rich citizenship experience. California Focus will take members to the state capital to participate in interactive workshops, listen to guest speakers, and will help them understand the political process on a state level. Washington Focus will take the students to the nation’s capitol to participate on a national level.

4-H All Stars and members pose for a picture after a long morning of work setting up for the event.
4-H All Stars and members pose for a picture after a long morning of work setting up for the event.

“We are really wanting this run to show that 4-H’ers do more than raise animals for the fair, there are activities they do all year around,” said the Imperial County 4-H advisor Shanna Abatti.

The run was held at Imperial High School and began at 6:30 a.m. Besides supporting the Focus trip, the color run was also to help promote healthy living.

Helina Hoyt RN, MS, PHN, and representative of the Imperial Valley College and San Diego State joint nursing program set up a health booth at the event. Hoyt, along with three of her students, showed 4-Hers and supporters alike what a healthy meal portion is, how to check your pulse and how to maintain healthy dental hygiene.

A Registered Nurse teaches a young 4-Her how to check his pulse.

“This event is really fun,” said Hoyt, “there are so many kids here learning about the nursing program and healthy living.”
Hoyt also said that one important slogan she is trying to get all people to remember is “Rethink your drink!” She explained that children in the Imperial Valley drink more soda than water. “That’s not helping them grow up healthy,” said Hoyt.

“All in all I think this run has been a success,” said Elena Johnson, mother of 4-H All Star Steven Johnson, “the kids have been working for months on this project and it looks like people are really enjoying it!”

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