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Unique fundraiser benefits foster kids

LAGRANGE, IN -- A unique fundraiser was recently held at the LaGrange County 4-H Fairgrounds for The Farm project, a future facility for foster children that will not only serve LaGrange County but also DeKalb, Steuben, and Noble counties, all in Indiana.
The group has the usual offerings for sale such as T-shirts celebrating ‘The Farm’ and bricks for memorials. They have an annual dinner but decided to try something new.
“In 2017, we had a silent auction,” Board member Ken Weaver said. “One of the other board members came up with the wheelbarrow idea.”
And what an inspiration it was! The volunteers asked businesses to sponsor one of the child-sized units for $100 and every one of the businesses approached responded positively. The benefits to the sponsorship were a mention of the business in the program for the evening as well as on the group’s various social media outlets. Some of the businesses purchased two in support of the project. A local hardware store sold the wheelbarrows to the organization at cost.
“I stole the idea from Kendallville where the group used full-sized wheelbarrows,” Board member Sue Keenan said. “Due to the nature of the project, we thought that the child-sized would be fun.”
Several artists donated their talents by painting the wheelbarrows with a variety of styles and themes explored and presented. The ages of the artists ranged from elementary and middle school students to adults. All 36 units were on display the night of the fundraiser.
The evening began with a dinner catered by a local restaurant who offered chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, salad, lasagna, garlic bread, and a myriad of desserts.
After the meal, several board members and supporters shared updates and information about the ongoing project. They were pleased to announce that the property for the facility was paid for and the groundbreaking had occurred earlier in the week. A display table contained blueprints for the buildings and the set up of The Farm.
All the wheelbarrows went for at least $100 with most going over $200. Along with the wheelbarrows, a few handmade child-sized quilts and comforters were auctioned off.
Though the auction was over, the fundraising wasn’t as a local supporter brought in a pony carrying a saddlebag with a puppy on one side and the other side was an open pocket. The attendees were invited to add donations as the evening came to an end.
For those who would like to support this worthy mission, the group invites them to check their website at and their Facebook page