The Vernon Parish 4-H Teen Leader club won the 2010-2011 Service-Learning Group Award for their “Hulking Out Cancer” project. After learning that one of their 4-H members had leukemia and recognizing that many of their family and friends had either survived or died from cancer, the Vernon Parish 4-H’ers were motivated to raise funds and awareness for cancer education and research. The goal was to raise $5,000, but 4-H’ers surpassed that goal by raising a little over $8,000. The parish created two Relay for Life teams and chose the title “Hulking Out Cancer” to go along with the Superhero theme of the Relay and Hulk because he is green like 4-H. With little over 140 hours of service and 100 volunteers, the program was a success.
The raising of funds began in November with the “DeFEET Cancer Campaign” where 4-H members sold Cancer Feet that gave people a chance to honor someone as the feet were posted in gyms, school hallways and windows. This effort raised over $3000. Another event in November, “Kiss Millie the Goat” contest, raised over $500. The Relay for Life project ended in May with the raffle of an XBOX at the Relay for Life event.
In addition to the fundraising, 4-H members shared their knowledge of cancer with the schools, communities and various 4-H clubs by posting cancer facts in newsletters and on Facebook, presenting at meetings and posting on school bulletin boards. The 4-H members also learned about healthy living, which included preparing healthy meals and snacks and exercising, all things to reduce the risk of getting cancer.
To celebrate the completion of a successful service-learning initiative, a pizza party was given to the team members and those who helped with the relay event. In “Hulking Out Cancer” Vernon Parish 4-H Teen leaders made an impact on their community that is sure to last for many years to come.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture