Dakota Access Pipeline, LLC donated $60,000 to the Illinois 4-H Foundation to fund 4-H youth development programs in 12 Illinois counties. Pipeline officials presented the 4-H donation, along with a $60,000 check to the Illinois FFA Foundation, Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville.
The funds will be used to benefit 4-H youth programs in the 12 Illinois counties the pipeline traverses. Those counties are Adams, Bond, Brown, Fayette, Hancock, Macoupin, Marion, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Schuyler, and Scott counties.
Lisa Dillinger, public relations and communications director for Energy Transfer, said the company wanted its donation to reach the youth who will shape the communities of the 50 counties they impact. “4-H and FFA were easy choices to make when determining recipients,” Dillinger said. Emergency medical service agencies will also receive financial support from the company.
“We want to support youth who are our future leaders in these communities,” said Chuck Frey, vice president of liquids engineering for Energy Transfer, who spoke with 4-H members during the presentation.
4-H is the youth development program of University of Illinois Extension. “It is always humbling and exciting to know that 4-H is recognized as a premier leadership program across the country,” said Aaron Dufelmeier, U of I Extension county director serving Cass, Scott, Morgan, Greene and Calhoun counties. “The thoughtfulness behind contributions such as this allows us the capacity to ignite the passion and desires of our 4-H members.
“Our 10-year experience for youth ages 8 to 18 is truly life changing,” Dufelmeier said. “Our 4-H members exemplify a positive ‘Can Do’ attitude with a spirit of enthusiasm and creativity in their work.
“This monetary gift will allow us to provide even more ways to enhance these leadership and citizenship skills of our youth,” said Dufelmeier. “We believe we can enhance skills like communication, leadership, and responsibility all while providing the means by which we can fuel our youth’s the passion, compassion, patience, generosity and dedication.”
Each county will determine how to best use the funds provided.
“Fayette County is a small rural county with limited resources to support 4-H,” said Dana Homann, U of I Extension 4-H youth development educator. Their plans include increasing the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) 4-H program efforts to help reach more youth and expand opportunities. “4-H helps youth reach their full potential to become contributing members of society,” Homann said.
Peggy Hampton, U of I Extension 4-H youth development educator, said the $10,000 they will receive for Macoupin and Montgomery counties will “fulfill some program dreams we’ve wanted to do for a long time.” She added, “We want to be sure what we choose has a long-lasting impact and lifespan for the youth in these counties.”
Liz Miller, U of I Extension 4-H youth development educator, said the $10,000 they will receive will help provide much needed program supplies for Bond and Marion counties.
U of I Extension County Director Earl Bricker’s unit will receive funding in five counties. “We plan to build, support, and nurture our volunteer base for our 4-H community clubs,” he said, “ensuring that volunteers receive the training and encouragement they need to continue the outstanding programs they have created.”
Butch Till, operations manager for Energy Transfer, provided information about the construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline running through North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. This section of pipe connects to pipelines near Patoka which run to the coast. Nearly 8.5 million barrels of crude oil fill the pipeline which began operation in June and took about nine months to build.
“Illinois 4-H empowers and prepares Illinois youth for success by providing opportunities where they learn, practice, and demonstrate skills needed for home, career, and global citizenship,” says Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation Executive Director. “We are very appreciative of Dakota Access supporting the future of Illinois through its youth and we look forward to seeing the 12 counties put the funds toward new and creative ideas related to science, hands-on education and learning.”
One may support the work of the Illinois 4-H Foundation by giving online @ 4hfoundation.illinois.edu.