It is exciting to share that 4-H now has staff resources out in the field marketing the program. Because of the increase in these county resources, 4-H participation is at an all-time high. However, now 4-H’ers are being waitlisted to attend signature overnight 4-H events, and there is not enough space to accommodate multiple groups (youth and corporate) at the same time. Even with the increase in an additional summer camp session, youth are waitlisted.
The Birmingham Business Journal recently ranked the 4-H Center 11th out of the top 25 meeting and convention facilities in the Metro Birmingham area. Even more, we are the only hotel/conference center for Shelby County. Funds from corporate retreats, wedding venues, and special events provide sustainable revenue for 4-H programs. Expanded facilities will increase our ability to host such special events and provide more resources to the 4-H program.
In the spring of 2018, we embarked on a feasibility study in conjunction with the J.F. Smith Group – an independent fund-raising company – to gauge opinions regarding the strategic direction of Alabama 4-H Foundation and our opportunity for expansion. The study confirmed widespread support for such growth opportunities.
Because of the study’s findings, the foundation board initiated The Center of It All: A Capital Campaign by the Alabama 4-H Foundation. With a campaign goal of $9.9 million, the campaign will give all those interested the opportunity to invest in this exciting new campus
for Alabama 4-H.
4-H is for everyone. Campaign projects will enable Alabama 4-H to deliver on its mission to provide hands-on learning experiences for all of Alabama’s youth. These projects will provide opportunities for more
4-H’ers to experience 4-H overnight camps, more schools to participate in the Alabama 4-H Science School programs, and more corporate/organizations to conduct meetings and retreats, which build sustainable revenue for programmatic support for 4-H.
“Right now we've reached our capacity at camp, and we have a waiting list. That's really hard as a youth development professional to think that there are children who aren't able to come to camp because we don't have the capacity for it.”
- Dr. Molly Gregg, Assistant Director, 4-H Programs