By: Value News | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: March 2007
Sydney Johnson, Vo-Ag student, at a recent show during the Tulsa State Fair.
Each year the Premium Show and Sale event is put on, involving students committed to agriculture. The Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce is one of the event sponsors who is intent on impacting those students’ futures. The show will take place March 6th at the Creek County Fairgrounds. Sapulpa High School’s Vocational Agriculture program will join other area high schools for the event. The featured categories for the show will be cattle, swine and sheep.
Support for the show provides incentive for youth involved in FFA (Future Farmers of America) and 4H. The organizations rely heavily on sponsorship to raise money to award scholarships. An awards committee comprised of a local agriculture teacher, a school counselor and one Booster Club member review eligible students, and scholarships are awarded. The scholarships are distributed annually to the top students. To qualify, students are required to have three years of involvement in their school’s agriculture program and must plan to attend an agricultural college.
According to Betty Calley, Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, the endowment is essential. “The fund creates a reserve so that monies are set aside for a number of years, if necessary. People add to the endowment each year. This creates further assurance that scholarship funds are available and ongoing.” Vo-Ag students rely on the money from the endowment to further their education, and donations are greatly appreciated.
Calley affirms the Chamber’s involvement and annual goals. “We want to create a productive Premium Show and increase the scholarship endowment.” The show thrives on the commitment of the student entrants. It also achieves success relative to the investment of those who offer financial sponsorship. The monetary support of various businesses and individuals makes the event successful. Without this necessary investment, many students would be unable to participate.
“We discovered that some students had business connections and therefore were able to obtain sponsorships. Others without such contacts would participate with much less funding,” Calley says. A strategic decision was made to “level the field.” A committee decided to channel funds into the Chamber Foundation, and those students who qualified would benefit from them. The monies collected are equally divided among area students. Sapulpa and Kellyville students benefit from the Chamber Foundation Fund.
Over $30,000 was collected in 2006. This enabled 40 students to be sponsored at the 2006 event. Funds raised also go toward event pay-outs. In 2006, awards ranged from $400 for the swine category to $2600 for a grand champion steer. “The event instills confidence in the students. They realize that hard work and discipline pay off,” Calley says.
The Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Foundation believe in the future of students involved in worthwhile endeavors. Come out to the Creek County Fairgrounds and support our students on March 6th or contact the chamber to make a donation to the endowment.