Your 4-H Center needs your financial help today. I was recently told that we are merely stewards of this facility, that this tremendous resource really belongs to the community of youth and families in Northern Virginia. This was a real awakening for me, and you know what? That person was right. What we do or don’t do today will be the legacy that we leave for our community and generations to come.
The 4-H Center was established 40 years ago when the U.S. Army donated 229 acres to create a year-round educational facility for the development of youth into leaders of tomorrow. Those many acres included Remount Depot buildings built over 90 years ago, and already used by a generation of soldiers and patriots in the preservation of our country. Now, many decades later, those same buildings have helped to prepare two more generations of youth grow into caring, contributing citizens. Honoring that original vision and carrying on our mission is a responsibility that our community has inherited, and together we need to raise the money needed to refurbish these historical buildings and grounds. That vision has grown beyond preserving the original structures to building a world-class equestrian facility that will serve the youth in our community. For example, $20,000 is needed to put a new roof on one of these historic Remount Depot buildings.
Some of the 4-H Center’s lodges were built over 30 years ago and have provided shelter for over 100,000 individuals. These lodges, dining areas, meeting rooms, trails, campfire circles, shelters, and amphitheater are used by thousands of people each year. Your 4-H Center’s buildings and grounds need your financial help for maintaining and upgrading to meet an ever-increasing demand. A special need has been identified to provide air conditioning in Robinson Lodge so we can improve the experience for campers. This may seem like a luxury, but for those campers with special medical needs it could be the reason they are unable to experience summer camp. Camp Fantastic, in particular, is for children who are fighting cancer and come to enjoy a week of summer camp. Without air conditioned lodging, these campers have a difficult time. Camp Fantastic has offered a challenge grant of $25,000 to be matched for air conditioning Robinson Lodge. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, we need to raise $25,000 in matching funds by July 1, 2016.
This is just some of the work we need to do as good stewards of the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center. If you need another reason to support your 4-H Center, just look at the photos accompanying this message. A smiling face is the greatest reward for a donation well made.