Purple Ribbon Fund Seeks Donors


The Goodhue County Purple Ribbon Fund was organized a number of years ago to make sure the local youth who were lucky enough to earn a spot in the Minnesota State Fair Livestock Auction would receive a fair premium--keeping up with, or exceeding, the average awarded by other counties.  Volunteers raised money from individual families, local businesses, and by having the previous year’s state fair auction participants put together gift baskets that were then donated to the county fair livestock auction.

The group’s efforts were successful but committee member Bob Eppen relays, “After a few years and suggestions from the public, it seemed like we were spending too much money on too few kids, so we started looking for a way to spread that around more.  We came up with giving scholarships to the graduating class of 4-Hers who had stayed in 4-H throughout their senior year in high school and had been a member for at least 6 years.”  He went on to clarify that the money is available not only to recipients going on to school but also those who enter the military, the workforce, or stay home to farm.  The money is available to any eligible youth across all project areas, not just livestock.  “We figured they all put in a lot of time and all should be rewarded equally.” 

With only a short fund-raising time period, the group was able to award $500.00 to each applicant in 2021.  Their long-term goal is to provide $1000.00 awards, starting slowly to maintain sustainability.  There were 18 eligible seniors in 2021 but 36 in 2022 emphasizing the need for more ways to raise funds. 

The Purple Ribbon Fund officially formed a 501(c)(3) organization with both federal and state tax exempt numbers so donations are 100% tax deductible.  They have adopted the mission statement, “To better the Goodhue County youth” and hope to grow to support local FFA chapters as well as 4-H.  The Goodhue Lion’s Club, Goodhue County Pork Producers and local businesses have stepped up to help but the group is looking for more partners.  Any business, group, or individual may sponsor one or more scholarships or simply make a donation of any amount. 

Board members and volunteers are Derrick Dicke, Betty Dicke, Brandon Schafer, Noah Erickson, Andy Mann and Bob Eppen.  You may send donations to Goodhue Co. Purple Ribbon Fund, 34890 165th Ave. Way, Goodhue, MN 55027.  For more information or to pledge a donation, call Bob Eppen at (651) 380-0494. 


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