4-H members in the Panhandle Extension District teamed up with volunteers, Bomgaars and other merchants and schools in late April and early May to help raise more than $8,000 to help restore fences destroyed by the March 16 fire near Ash Hollow.
4-Hers and volunteers raised $5,341.39 by taking Donations for Donuts. Bomgaars matched these donations up to $3,000 in vouchers for materials to be purchased directly at their stores. The cash donations and vouchers totaled $8,341.39.
The wildfire started near Lewellen, burning about 4,600 acres or 7 square miles of grassland, as well as many miles of fencing. Although there were no livestock or structure losses, at least five families in the area have lost a significant amount of pastureland.
The Panhandle 4-H District held a meeting shortly after the fire and decided to help raise funds for the families affected. The Donuts for Donations effort was created, and scheduled for April 29 to coincide with National 4-H Day of Service. Due to inclement weather that date, some locations delayed their fund-raising efforts by a week. In the end though, about 12 locations were able to raise the money.
Bomgaars and other merchants provided the donuts. All of the proceeds will go to the families to help them restore fencing lost in the fire. Depending on the materials used, a mile of fence costs approximately $10,000 to build.
4-H members set up at Bomgaars stores at Alliance, Bridgeport, Chadron, Gordon, Ogallala, Scottsbluff, and Sidney and Valentine. In communities where there is no Bomgaars, other sponsors stepped up to help purchase donuts, provide a location, or both, including Herren Brothers Hardware in Harrison and Crawford; Main Street Market in Kimball; Garden County School; and Creek Valley Schools in Chappell.
Anybody who wants to donate can still send a check to Nebraska 4-H Foundation, C/O Ash Hollow Fire Relief Fund, PO Box 830719, Lincoln, NE 68583-0719.