June 19, 2008
This summer, Auburntigers.com will feature weekly stories highlighting community service related activities that current and former student-athletes along with Auburn coaches have been, and will be, participating in. If you know of any former Auburn athletes or coaches that are participating in that you would like to see featured on Auburntigers.com, please send your ideas to email@example.com.
Alabama 4-H'ers representing 38 of the state's 67 counties enjoyed a day of fellowship, food and football as they celebrated 4-H Day at Auburn University's homecoming in 2007.
More than 950 4-H'ers and adult volunteers attended 4-H Day at Jordan-Hare Stadium, where they saw the Tigers defeat Tennessee Tech 35-3. The Auburn Athletics Department donated tickets to Alabama students in 4-H programs and adult volunteers to support the state's largest youth development organization.
"This is one of the largest, if not the largest, turnouts for a 4-H event in Alabama," said Lamar Nichols, assistant director for 4-H and Youth Development with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. "We are thankful for the generosity of Auburn University Athletics and other sponsors who made the day successful.
"For many of our 4-H'ers this was the first time they have attended a sporting event at a major college, and they enjoyed the experience to the fullest. They also had a great time fellowshipping and making friends with 4-H'ers from around the state."
As a service project and part of 4-H's generosity component, the students brought more than 840 pounds of food to donate to the Food Bank of East Alabama and collected $214.49 by asking participants to bring 19 cents to support World Hunger.
The 19 cents is in honor of the Committee of 19, Auburn University's War on Hunger student leadership group, and the 19 cents on average that it has historically taken for the World Food Programme to feed a school child in the developing world.
The War on Hunger Campaign began in 2004 when Auburn was invited by the World Food Programme, the largest humanitarian organization in the world, to be its lead academic partner in a student-led hunger awareness and consciousness-raising effort. Since its inception, Auburn students have been involved in numerous domestic and global hunger awareness and fundraising activities, and in 2007 participated in AU's inaugural Hunger Awareness Week.
Head women's basketball coach Nell Fortner has also gotten involved in the War on Hunger campaign as she serves as the Auburn University spokesperson.
"In an athletic setting at Auburn I can arm people with information, whether I am speaking to groups or whether I am putting information out at our games. If one person gets it and that person becomes passionate about finding a solution - this is what gets me excited because you just never know who is out there that can help," said Fortner.
"Auburn Athletics is pleased to help the War on Hunger in any way possible," said Jon Sirico, Director of Marketing for Auburn Athletics. "With Auburn serving as the nation's flagship university in the War on Hunger, we felt there was no better way to show support for this cause than by incorporating Alabama 4-H's generosity component into their Auburn football outing."
Alabama 4-H is the largest youth development organization in the state with more than 50,000 active members. It will celebrate its centennial in 2009 and has another Auburn football day planned for the Louisiana-Monroe game in August.
The mission of 4-H is to teach leadership, citizenship and character values. Through a variety of programs, young people discover their own talents, learn to think critically, build relationships and develop a concern for their community and world.