Jahns establish Cheboygan County 4-H endowment

Martin and Patricia Jahn, of Burr Ridge, Illinios, have established the Cheboygan County 4-H Endowment.

Cheboygan County 4-H cloverbuds at their camp.
Martin and Patricia Jahn created the Cheboygan County 4-H Endowment to support local 4-H participation sponsorships. Pictured above are participants from Cheboygan County’s Bouncing Bunnies 4-H Cloverbud Camp.

Martin and Patricia Jahn, of Burr Ridge, Illinios, have established the Cheboygan County 4-H Endowment.

“We are investing in youth – we firmly believe in strong moral values and good education for children,” Patricia Jahn said. “We hope they can become successful adults and give back to their communities. If we don’t invest in our kids – what better investment is there?”

For the past few years, the Jahns have provided annual gifts to help provide 4-H participation sponsorships for Cheboygan County 4-H members. Now, by establishing the Cheboygan County 4-H Endowment, their endowed gift will provide a perpetual source for local 4-H participation sponsorships.

“Funding is often a roadblock for youth attending 4-H programs outside of the local county,” said Leigh Ann Theunick, MSU Extension 4-H program coordinator in Cheboyban County. “The local 4-H council, committees and youth members spend a significant portion of their time raising funds for scholarships and to support the program. This endowment will help to alleviate some of the stress and pressure of fundraising and enable the program to put more energy towards developing local programming that meets the needs of the youth and the community.”

An endowment is a fund that is permanently restricted – the corpus of the fund is invested and held intact, and the earnings from the fund are used for program support. Endowments provide a dependable and perpetual source of funding that, combined with other annual support, assures that 4-H opportunities are always available for youth.

“The endowment will provide scholarships for children who couldn’t be involved in 4-H otherwise,” Patricia Jahn explained. “We wanted to establish the endowment because it will continue [to support 4-H] after we are gone. Having a certain amount of money each year is comforting, especially in time of down economy.

“In places like Cheboygan, 4-H is more known. 4-H has wonderful programs! I know it’s hard to raise money today.”
Martin Jahn’s mother grew up in Cheboygan County on his grandparents’ farm. He recalls visiting and helping out on the farm each summer growing up. Although Martin and Patricia Jahns live in Illinois, they still frequently visit northern Michigan.

“We have a place there and have been going up there forever and visit year round. Now our nieces and nephews have houses there – it’s become a second home for all of us.”

During her youth, Patricia was an Illinois 4-H’er.

“I was a 4-H’er in the city of Chicago. I didn’t raise animals but did take cooking, sewing, crafts and so on,” she said. “We moved and then I don’t recall a 4-H program available in my new neighborhood.

“There are limited funds in Cheboygan, so we have concentrated our giving in that area.

“When they’re at 4-H, parents know they’re safe and the kids are doing something productive. It’s just a wonderful program.

“I think sometimes as parents, we ignore how effective the volunteers are that give our kids a bit of knowledge that they can accomplish things. We overlook just how big of an impact they have on our kids. The more we support our leaders, the more we support our children.

“I hope others will think about helping their local 4-H groups to help them grow.”

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