Scholarship opportunities available for local 4-H’ers

Monday, July 12, 2021
Beth Evans

It’s almost fair time. The Putnam County 4-H Fair is just one of the many summer activities and events available throughout the county.

4-H members grades three through 12 work hard and diligently to complete a wide variety of projects to showcase during the fair. A 4-H’er can choose from various projects, including foods, clothing and sewing, crafts, photography, dog obedience, the traditional livestock projects, llamas and many more.

Although the fair is the culmination of all the hard work, the 4-H program is so much more than the week-long event. The programs provide career and life skill opportunities throughout the entire year. All these projects embrace the 4-H motto “making the best better.”

Many people who come out to the fair to enjoy the projects, activities, animals and food for eight fun-filled days may not realize the weeks and months dedicated to completing 4-H projects by youth and volunteers.

It’s quite an accomplishment for 4-H’ers to follow through and complete 10 consecutive years. Throughout 4-H’ers’ careers, they can develop skills that will help them throughout life while creating lasting friendships along the way.

As 4-H’ers are finishing their 4-H careers, they should remember they are eligible to apply for several Putnam County Community Foundation scholarship opportunities. These scholarships were established to recognize the dedication and work ethic of these members.

The 4-H scholarships administered by the Putnam County Community Foundation include the 4-H General Scholarship, 4-H Livestock Scholarship, Barbara & Edward Brookshire 4-H Scholarship and Darrel Thomas 4-H Scholarship. In addition, our newest scholarship, the 4-H Dog Club Scholarship, was established earlier this year. All these scholarships, and more, along with their criteria, may be found online at

If you’re interested in supporting one of these scholarships benefiting our 4-H members, the 4-H General Scholarship is currently participating in Share the Dream, which is a matching opportunity available through July 31. Gifts made to a participating endowment will be matched 50 cents for every $1 donated. For example, a $50 donation turns into $75 during the matching period. The impact of these gifts quickly increases, and the scholarship can benefit even more graduating 4-H members. Donations can be made online at

Prior to COVID, the 4-H scholarships were awarded during the Putnam County Fair but are now being announced on Facebook Live. These videos capture the 4-H’ers in a surprisingly fun and interactive way. The videos are available to view on the Putnam County 4-H (Indiana) Facebook page.

I encourage you to come out with your family and join the fun at the Putnam County Fair between July 23-30, and make sure to congratulate the scholarship winners and 4-H’ers for a job well done.

One last thing to remember as we head into fair week, 4-H volunteers are an important asset to the success of the 4-H program and the Putnam County 4-H Fair. Volunteers spend countless hours helping, guiding, and challenging the youth to do their best and develop lifelong skills. This past year a new endowment, the Diana Thomas Endowment for Putnam County 4-H, was established at the Putnam County Community Foundation, designed to provide volunteer development for 4-H leaders. Diana, along with so many others, devoted many hours to the 4-H program.

I encourage community members, especially ones who have completed the 4-H program, to get involved. It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community and make the 4-H program the great program it is today.

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