When the Cattle Show Committee at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair decided to do something to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of 4-H this year, they didn’t expect the response to be quite so overwhelming.
Every available inch of the two large birthday cards that were displayed during fair week was filled with signatures of 4-H alumni, current 4-H members and some future 4-H prospects.
“They covered everything,” says Leanne LaBrash, who chaired the cattle show committee. “You can see there are children just learning to spell their name and some people left messages, because we asked them to put their names, the club they belonged to and the dates they were in the club. There are some from the U.S. as well.
The cards were so popular that the Manitoba 4-H Council is now planning to display more at various 4-H and MAFRI events around the province on the run-up to the National 4-H Canada Annual General Meeting at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg on May 30, where a gala banquet is planned for the centennial celebration of 4-H Canada.
There will also be a 4-H Clubhouse, which is open to the public, featuring memorabilia from all of the provincial 4-H councils where people can come and catch up with 4-H friends and alumni.
A celebration evening for 100 years of 4-H in Manitoba is also planned at the 4-H Museum in Roland, the birthplace of 4-H in Canada, on the evening of May 31 which is open to everyone.
The birthday cards will, of course, be on display and are a good way for people who can’t be at these events to feel a part of the special celebration.
“A lot of the people I have encountered are very supportive of 4-H and are trying to figure out how to do their part or feel like a part of it,” says LaBrash. “So I think when they sign the greeting card they feel like they have acknowledged it in some way.”