By KATIE BOPES

Jackson County 4-H Youth Coordinator

Earlier this year you may have noticed brightly decorated containers on the counters of Jackson County businesses. Hopefully you were even able to drop a few coins in to vote for the Jackson County 4-H king and queen candidates. 

Donations from those cans raised more than $2,400 to benefit the Jackson County 4-H’ers, primarily members who attend the Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) trip. 

The CWF trip is a 4-H leadership program for high school youth in grades 10through 12 from across the country. Every summer nearly 1,600 young people stay at the National 4-H Conference Center, near Washington, D.C. Those that participate in this week-long program learn essential civic leadership skills and leave with the tools that will allow them to bring about real change in their communities. 

Donations were counted during Jackson County 4-H’s Hawaiian Luau event held March 3 in Preston. The event, formerly known as the Sweetheart Ball, had been postponed due to inclement weather.

Participants played various games, ate, and had their pictures taken as they socialized with one another.

4-H clubs nominated 18 candidates for the honor of being chosen the 2019 Jackson County 4-H king and queen. Each penny raised by candidates was considered one vote. After counting all of the donations raised, Audree Kuhlman from the Cloverites 4-H club was named Jackson County 4-H queen, and Jack Strodtman from the Andrew Achievers 4-H club was named Jackson County 4-H king. 

First runners-up were Callie Petersen of Monmouth Co-Ed and Wyatt Christiansen of Monmouth Co-Ed. Second runners-up were Emma Ihrig of the Andrew Achievers and Tanner Swanson of the Cloverites. 

Other king and queen candidates included Grace Dunn and Cameron Hingtgen of Bellevue Pioneers, Abby Schmidt and Dale Lippens of Emeline Ridge Rollers, Kyleigh Melvin and Gage Ruden of Miles Mavericks, Charisma Dontje and Jayden Koos of Northfork New Horizons, Kambree Schwager and Lance Borrenpohl of Otter Creek Shooting Stars, and Kierra Messerich and Eric Trenkamp of Preston Trailblazers.  

4-H’ers and their families enjoyed everyone’s company with an afternoon of luau-themed games. There were stations set up for pineapple bowling, mango relay, hula hoop contests, limbo, a photo booth, and more. Something fun for everyone to enjoy was a “best dressed” contest. 4-H’ers who dressed the part of a luau theme were able to enter. Winner of the contest was Tanner Swanson and runner-up was Ashley Meyer, Preston Trailblazers. 

To learn more about Jackson County 4-H, please visit the Jackson County Extension website at www.extension.iastate.edu/jackson, call 652-4923, or stop in at 201 W. Platt St., Maquoketa. The Extension office is located in the basement of the courthouse.