Coryell County businesses are being asked in a tough economy to dig a little deeper and invest in not only local children, but also their livestock.
The Copperas Cove Buyer’s Club is asking for monetary donations that will fund FFA and 4-H projects auctioned off at the Coryell County Youth Fair in Gatesville on Jan. 11.
The donation drive is expected to raise $14,000 to $17,000 this year.
Despite a struggling economy, several area businesses including Ace Hardware, First Texas Bank, Mickey’s, National Bank, Jackson Buildings, and Temple Iron and Metal, to name a few, have already made sizable contributions.
Ace Hardware in Copperas Cove is a regular contributor to the program donating $1,000 annually. Owner Beverly Smith said donating to the Copperas Cove Buyer’s Club is a legacy started by her father and that the company will continue to give as long as it can.
“It’s for the kids, and we try to contribute to things that will benefit them,” she said. “When you live and work in the community, you just give back to it. You give back to the community that supported you.”
“No matter what the economy is like, they give those kids that money,” said Gretchen McWhorter, Copperas Cove Buyer’s Club Chairman and acting President.
“It’s unbelievable — their loyalty to these children.”
Diana Jackson, co-owner of Jackson Buildings located in Kempner contributed $500 because of McWhorter’s demonstrated commitment to the program.
“As a business, we get hit up constantly for various types of donations. But when someone also takes the time to walk into your place of business, that speaks volumes for us,” Jackson said.“We know how hard those kids worked on their projects and we do anything we can to help them.”
Terry Enterprises in Kempner and Quality Meats in Temple have donated items that will be raffled off at the fair on January 10th.
The Copperas Cove Buyer’s Club is a non-profit organization that recognizes the need to support young members of the Future Farmers of America Organization and the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation which encourage youth development through agricultural education. McWhorter said that with the county fair being held in Gatesville, a lot of Copperas Cove businesses are not able to attend the sale after the livestock show leaving Cove children at a disadvantage.
“These kids work very hard, some spending $1,200 on their projects, and no one makes a bid (at the fair sale) which can be extremely humiliating and depressing,” said McWhorter. “When they place high enough to make the sale with whatever projects they have done, the Buyer’s Club will buy their projects.”
With nearly 70 donations from local businesses, the Copperas Cove Buyer’s Club was able to bring in more than $11,000 last year funding 24 Copperas Cove FFA and 4-H projects at the fair.
McWhorter stated that the club does not use any business-provided contributions to purchase raffle items.
For more information or to become a sponsor, contact McWhorter at 254-681-2946.