Terril D. Faul, Coolman, Denise, Merrill, Thomas A.
News Release Distributed 2/20/04
More than 2,500 4-H’ers from across the state will venture to New Orleans next week as the New Orleans Hornets show their support for the LSU AgCenter youth development program.
The Hornets’ Feb. 27 matchup with the Indiana Pacers marks 4-H Night With the Hornets and is a a time when the team will honor the group and provide financial support for the 4-H Club program in the state.
Of the young people who will attend the game, at least 175 will participate in some way – with activities ranging from appearances on court to serving as entertainers.
One Ruston High School 4-H’er will sing the national anthem – and says winning that honor is the fulfillment of a dream.
Kristi Crowder, a Ruston High senior, was selected from a group of Louisiana 4-H’ers who competed for the honor. Crowder said singing has always been a part of her life, and being a member of the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H program is helping her fulfill her dreams.
"I am really excited to be given this opportunity," Crowder said. "4-H is a fine organization, and I think it’s great the Hornets basketball team is recognizing Louisiana 4-H and it’s members."
Terril Faul, who heads the statewide 4-H program for the LSU AgCenter, agreed. He said the support and recognition lets even more people know about the core mission of the youth development program – helping young people be the best they can be.
"The Hornet’s No. 1 goal is literacy, so they are interested in helping 4-H with project books and curriculum materials," Faul said. "As a result, they’re providing funds for an endowment that will go toward that material."
The Hornets are donating $4 per ticket sold through the LSU AgCenter to Louisiana 4-H. Of that, $2 goes to parish 4-H foundations to support local activities, and $2 goes to the curriculum endowment of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation.
"We’re glad to continue this association with the Hornets," Faul said. "We hope the biggest effect it will have will be to let even more people know what 4-H is about and what a wide range of things we have to offer young people – so even more of them will want to be involved."
4-H is the youth development and outreach program of the nationwide land-grant university system. It is operated in Louisiana by the LSU AgCenter and includes projects for youth on topics ranging from raising livestock to computer science and family life to environmental science. All are targeted toward helping young people develop skills and abilities that will benefit them throughout their lives.
LSU AgCenter 4-H agent Amanda Simmons of Lincoln Parish said the 4-H’er performing the national anthem is a classic example of the opportunities the program provides.
"This will give her a chance to perform in front of thousands of people," Simmons said. "If she had not been a member of 4-H, this may not have happened. 4-H is helping her achieve her dream. I think it is a major accomplishment when an organization can help a young person realize and meet their dreams."
This is the second year the Hornets have recognized Louisiana 4-H. Last year, the Louisiana 4-H program received about $5,700 from ticket sales and rebounds made by P.J. Brown, a Winnfield native who plays for the Hornets.
Taking part in activities such as this are exciting for both youth and adults, but it also teaches lessons that go beyond the ones you see on the surface, Simmons said.
"For example, they learn the six pillars associated with being a person of good character," she said. "The 4-H’ers learn respect, because they have to respect their chaperones, everyone in the arena and the property that will be around them. They also learn responsibility, because they have to budget their money so that they can buy souvenirs and still have money to buy food. They also learn about trustworthiness, fairness, good citizenship and caring, because everyone must do his or her part to make this trip successful."
To learn more about how you can become involved in the Louisiana 4-H program, contact your parish LSU AgCenter office or visit www.lsuagcenter.com.