CENTREVILLE - Erin Waltke, 13, of Burr Oak, has fed, watered and walked her lamb every morning and every night since she got him last April.
She raised her lamb to be the grand champion, and then sold him at auction and she couldn't be more pleased.
"I'm very happy," she said. "This is my first grand champion lamb."
Waltke, a five-year veteran of 4-H, and many of her fellow members are donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their livestock to the American Red Cross for rescue and relief efforts in New York and Washington. The animal sale took place Thursday at the St. Joseph County Grange Fair.
Ten-year Fawn River Clovers 4-H Club member, Nicole Pagels, a freshman at Glen Oaks Community College, was burdened by the plight of families who are suffering from the attacks of the past week.
Nicole had the idea that 4-H members could donate a percentage of their livestock sale proceeds to help those in need. She talked with other 4-H members and presented her idea to the 4-H livestock superintendents and assistants.
"I want to help the people who are suffering and working so hard in New York and Washington D.C.," she said.
Pagels gathered input from fellow 4-H members and made her presentation to the Livestock Auction Committee. They wholeheartedly supported her recommendation and went even further to support those in need of help. One percent of proceeds from animals sold by 4-H members at the auction will be donated to the American Red Cross relief and rescue efforts. Auction buyers will have two ways to donate as well, they can either make a cash donation at the sale or donate the market support price of the animals purchased. Nicole and other 4-H members made red, white and blue lapel ribbons that they wore during the sale.
The efforts of the 4-H youth members compliment the efforts of the St. Joseph County Grange Fair Board. The fair board is collecting donations at the entry gates and 50 cents of each admission today (Veterans Day) will be donated to several charities through the United Way.