BENTON — The Saline County 4-H Dream Team is a new club in the county that sets out for[more] high aspirations for the community in which they live. The club itself is comprised of a mix of individuals varying from military families to special healthcare needs and homeschooling communities, just to name a few.
The Saline County 4-H Club wanted to find a community project to honor our nation’s military. Operation Military Kids is a 4-H program that offers support to children who are impacted by the global war on terrorism, especially during the deployment of a parent or parents. The Dream Team wants to help with this program and Samantha Bartle, wife of Staff Sgt. Paul Bartle and 4-H Dream Team co-leader, is leading the club in a community fishing derby slated for Memorial Day weekend.
On Saturday, May 25, 4-H youth in Saline County will host a fishing derby targeting families of military personnel in the area. However, all families in the community are invited. The 4-H Dream Team will host the derby at Sunset Lake in Benton from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
According to Bartle, hosting this fishing derby is a community project that focuses on serving our military families and all youth in our community while promoting family time during a period recognizing the contributions made by sacrifice through our fallen service men and women.
“Family time spent in recreation and relaxation is certainly a treasured family memory but especially for military families”, said Bartle, whose father is a war veteran and her husband still in service.
The festivities will begin at 9 a.m. with fishing for tagged specimens provided by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Participants should bring their own tackle and bait for the fishing derby. Concessions will be offered with the proceeds going toward future projects of the Dream Team 4-H Club.
Other Saline County 4-H Clubs will be present alongside various community organizations with carnival-type attractions to round out the day. Prizes from area businesses will also be awarded for children participating in the derby that day.
This event would not be possible without the help of Benton Parks and Recreation, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Everett GMC/Buick, Hiland Dairy, State Farm-Benton, Landers Toyota and countless other businesses.
The Dream Team is a group of Saline County youth that are interested in science and technology. The club has a strong focus in community service, agriculture and robotics. Currently, more than five million young people across the nation participate in 4-H science, engineering, technology and applied math year-long programming. Through the One Million New Scientists, One Million New Ideas campaign, 4-H is working toward a bold goal to engage one million new young people in science, engineering, technology and applied math programs in the year 2013.
As part of a national partnership between 4-H and the Department of Defense, Arkansas' Operation Military Kids program is again on the march. Maureen Rose, program associate, is the director of the OMK program in Arkansas. There are opportunities for involvement in every county, for both traditional 4-H members and military kids.
This event as well as all 4-H meetings is open to all youth between the ages of 5 and 19 without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, or disability. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (large print, audiotapes, etc.) should notify the county Extension office as soon as possible prior to the activity. For more information, contact the Saline County Extension office at 501-303-5672.