Endowment fund helps 4-H kids with projects


Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent

Photo by Carol Wagner Shawano County University of Wisconsin-Extension 4-H coordinator Terri Brunner encourages 4-H clubs and committees to apply for funds from the Don and Bernice Schoedel 4-H Endowment Fund.

In 1993, former 4-H agent Don Schoedel started the first Don and Bernice Schoedel 4-H Endowment Fund in Shawano County. He had been the University of Wisconsin-Extension county agent for more than 30 years.

“Working with youth as long as he did in Shawano County, he wanted to make sure the organization remained strong,” said 4-H coordinator Terri Brunner about the late Don Schoedel. “And that there would be funds to continue the program and meet the needs of our youth.”

The fund supports efforts to expand and enrich program opportunities for the 21 clubs’ project key committees in Shawano County.

The visual arts key committee benefited from the fund. They purchased four double-sided art display boards to be used at the fair this year and can possibly be used elsewhere.

The rabbit and poultry projects received special educational materials and had a speaker. Katieann Seibert, of the Bonduel 4-H Club and a senior at Bonduel High School, will be attending the University of Arkansas to study poultry science. She was helped by educational materials provided through the foundation.

“I’m very thankful that Don was able to create the fund so that youth can pursue their areas of interest,” Brunner said.

Requests need to be in by Oct. 25 by filling out an application and will be notified in early November if they have been approved. Clubs and committees have until the end of June to use the funds they have been awarded.

In 2015, there was a balance of $65,000. Each year the 4-H Executive Board puts in $1,000. So far, only the interest from the fund is being used.

Other contributions come from memorials in honor of someone along with donations. Gifts can be designated to a specific program or to just help support Shawano County 4-H where it is needed most.

“I think the endowment fund is a great asset for our county,” Brunner said.

The Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, a nonprofit, private organization, monitors the Don & Bernice Schoedel 4-H Endowment Fund. Founded in 1954, the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation helps expand and enrich 4-H programs and opportunities statewide and depends solely on community support.

Gifts are tax deductible and checks should be made to Wisconsin 4-H Foundation and earmarked for the Shawano County Don and Bernice Schoedel Endowment Fund.

For information, contact the extension office at 715-526-6136.