UF/IFAS faculty, staff, industry leaders and 4-H alumni and friends came together at University House on the evening of November 18 to enjoy the company of fellow 4-H supporters and 4-H musical talent at the second annual Florida 4-H Gator Soirée. The proceeds of this fundraising event will be used to support Florida 4-H University 2017.
Every summer, youth from across Florida travel to the UF campus to learn, lead and serve at UF/IFAS Extension Florida 4-H Youth Development Program’s flagship program, UF/IFAS Florida 4-H University. 4-H University features workshops led by faculty, and helps youth discover educational and career opportunities, all while experiencing the land-grant university.
Dr. Kent Fuchs, President of the University of Florida, spoke at the event about the impact 4-H has had on his life, and shared one of his mother’s 4-H record books, proudly stating, “I am a product of 4-H.” In addition, longtime 4-H supporter Betty Jo Tompkins was honored with the 2016 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award. Florida 4-H State Council President Gabi Sullivan also spoke about the impacts 4-H has had on her life.
“By investing in Florida’s youth, we ensure future generations of citizen leaders ready to make a difference in our communities, state and nation,” said Caylin Hilton, assistant director of strategic operations for UF/IFAS Advancement. “We are thankful to our 4-H Gator Soirée sponsors and attendees for their support of Florida’s 4-Hers.”
A special thanks to Florida Farm Bureau, Florida Sugar Cane League, Farm Credit of Florida and 4-H Foundation Board Member Mrs. Colleen McCreary as top supporters of the Soiree and Florida 4-H University 2017.