News Release Distributed 09/23/11
FARMERVILLE, La. – State Rep. Hollis Downs has established the first-ever endowment for a Louisiana parish 4-H program by donating $10,000 to Union Parish 4-H on Sept. 22.
The donation will support a variety of 4-H educational programs, contests, trips, scholarships and awards to the youth in the Union Parish 4-H program.
Downs, who grew up in Farmerville, said 4-H played “a huge part of the format of my life and values.” He said 4-H provides opportunities for skillset training and development of values that don’t come in school.
Youth in 4-H learn leadership, citizenship, working with their hands, better health and a healthy lifestyle, Downs said, adding that they become familiar with agriculture, horticulture, trees and career opportunities.
“There is something to be said for quality of life and, to some extent, quantity of life,” Downs said of 4-H. “I am deeply indebted to 4-H and want it to remain strong.”
Downs said he was delighted to have 4-H’ers at the presentation and stated that he made the donation in memory of his father, Woodrow Downs, and stepfather, William Chappell, and in honor of his mother, Juel Meredith Downs Chappell, who attended the presentation.
The endowment was set up so that other 4-H supporters or people who may have known his family members can contribute to the fund to increase the financial support for Union Parish 4-H.
“This donation allows the Union Parish 4-H staff to use the interest from the endowment for numerous programs and activities, especially years down the road as the endowment grows and more interest is received,” said Eric Eskew, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation.
“It is the salt-of-the-earth people, like those in Union Parish, who are going to make 4-H stronger,” said Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor.
Mary Ann Van Osdell
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture