Donna Martz Memorial 4-H Endowment Fund sends Missouri youths to National 4-H Conference
- Published: Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021
COLUMBIA, Mo. – “Mom led by example and was always right by our side offering support and help with whatever we needed,” says Connie Wieberg of her mother, Donna Martz, who passed away in 2018. “She was a big reason we all succeeded in 4-H.”
Thanks to generous gifts in Martz’s memory from her husband, Fred, and their children, the Donna Martz Memorial 4-H Endowment Fund will ensure that future generations of 4-H members have the same opportunities to succeed that Wieberg and her siblings had growing up in Missouri 4-H, said Rachel Augustine, director of the Missouri 4-H Foundation.
The fund will provide trip scholarships for 4-H members to attend the National 4-H Conference, the pinnacle experience in the 4-H Civic Engagement project, creating opportunities for young people to connect, learn, engage, lead and make a difference in their communities, their nation and their world, Augustine said.
Each year, Missouri 4-H sends three to four delegates to the conference, where they present prepared briefings to federal officials in Washington, D.C., and engage in personal development experiences that empower them to create positive social change in their communities, she said.
“This is a beautiful and meaningful way to honor Donna’s memory,” Augustine said. “This gift will help countless young people experience firsthand what real community change can look like, both locally and nationally.”
Donna Martz was a longtime volunteer for the Keene 4-H Club in Boone County, where all five of her children completed 10 to 11 years as 4-H members. She filled many roles as a 4-H volunteer, including club leader, project leader, trip chaperone, 4-H parent and 4-H grandparent.
“4-H was a way of life for our family,” said Wieberg. “As a family, we spent every second Saturday of the month attending club meetings at our local church. Mom spent countless hours transporting us to project meetings, helping us with our 4-H projects and keeping our club organized.”
Wieberg remembers her mother spending hours helping her and her siblings edit and type their National Report Forms on a manual typewriter.
“I can’t say enough positive things about how 4-H impacted my life,” she said. “It shaped our family in a way that allowed each of us to work together and contribute to the greater good of our community. It also helped each one of us become responsible, contributing adults, teaching us to respect others and helping us develop invaluable leadership and life skills like teamwork and a strong work ethic. The 4-H pledge still resonates in my head to this day.”
“By creating this scholarship, our family hopes to continue Donna’s legacy by helping young people learn about the size, purpose and role of 4-H in the United States of America,” said Fred Martz.
Additional contributions may be made to the Donna Martz Memorial 4-H Endowment Fund. For more information, call 573-882-2680 or visit 4h.missouri.edu/foundation.
About Missouri 4-H
Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow – making a real difference in their community, country and world. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information on Missouri 4-H, visit 4h.missouri.edu.
About the Missouri 4-H Foundation
The Missouri 4-H Foundation is the private resource partner of the University of Missouri Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development. For more than 70 years, the foundation has secured and managed funds for Missouri 4-H, providing higher education scholarships, recognizing 4-H volunteers and supporting the work of MU Extension 4-H. Learn more at 4h.missouri.edu/foundation.
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