New Building for Grange Fairgrounds
“For years we’ve been renting tents to house the goats and small animals, “said Bob Brown of the Penn State Cooperative Extension, who is the 4-H coordinator in Bucks County.
After a particularly bad storm two years ago 4-H leaders approached Grange president, Scott Dengler, with their plan to raise funds for the new building. The Grange agreed to support the club’s efforts and fundraising began.
4-H members procured over $50,000 in community donations from local builders and businesses. The Grange contributed monetarily and covered the costs of preparing the property for building, grading the land and engineering drainage.
“If it wasn’t for those community donations, I don’t think it would have happened. It’s a true partnership all the way around, “said Dengler.
According to the’ Grange president, the builder was also a large part of making this venture possible.
“While many costs increased during the year, Stoltzfus held his price for us for a full year during the planning stages. He recognized the good — of 4-H and the Grange — and did the work almost at cost,” said Dengler.
The 4-H organization, standing for head, heart, hands and health, is a youth organization serving children from ages 8 through 18 with specific clubs that teach life-skill subjects such as gardening, baking, animal science, and wood-working. Encouraging leadership and citizenship, the organization helps members to “set and achieve goals, build work, ethic and learn responsibility,” according to Brown. Their motto is “learn by doing.”
Dengler describes the 4-H as a valuable “bridge between old and young Grange members, “and an essential part of the fair. “We hope that the 4-H kids will grow up and be the future of the fair, “agreed Brown.
Jane DelBianco is one of the volunteer leaders for the 4-H goat club and an advocate for the new building. Her children, Megan, 10 and Abby, 14, are members of the club. Through their involvement in 4-H the two girls have made valuable friendships, learned about goats and learned life-lessons as well, according to DelBianco.
“4-H promotes a culture of inclusion. When someone new comes in, the members learn to help each other. The only ones in competition are the animals, “she said.
DelBianco helped put together a proposal for the contract to build the new 4-H building and has been an integral part of the planning process, according to Dengler.
“It’s great knowing that at this year’s fair the 4-H members and the animals will have more room; We’re looking forward to a great fair, “ said DelBianco.
Construction began in June and the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on the first day of the Grange Fair. Community contributors and members of the 4-H club will be present for the occasion.
“When people start working together and people are generous, good things can happen, “ said Brown.
“The barn was our dream – and Sylvan made it perfect, “ she said.
By Trish Verdi COURIER TIMES