Arts and crafts fill the 4-H Building | News

ALEXANDRIA — Harli Evans was proud to win a blue ribbon for her photograph of a sunset outside her Elwood home.

“That day, I was in bed and I didn’t feel good. My best friend called me and told me to go outside to the sunset. I ran outside with no shoes (to) the road and got a picture.”

As a seven-year member of 4-H, her passion for photography has led her to the State Fair three separate years.

Inside the 4-H Building, about 260 crafts and projects are displayed, such as Lego structures and fashion pieces.

Evans said she used her photography skills to teach younger participants, Grace and William Kessinger, how to capture award-winning photographs. Both received purple ribbons and will advance to the State Fair.

“I’ve been doing (photography) before 4-H … I was in a class for it my freshman year, and I learned more about it,” Evans said. “I actually knew what I was doing right. (Helping younger members) feels like I’m actually doing something right.”

The Madison County Purdue Extension operates the 4-H program. 4-H Youth Development Extension educator Bill Decker, of Anderson, said the building was bustling.

“Last night I came in here about 7:30 (p.m.), because we close at 9 (p.m.), and I just expected it to be me standing around … and the building was doing a pretty brisk business,” he said. “There were a lot of folks looking around at the kids’ projects.”

As a member of the Home Economics Club, Alexandria’s Wanetta Stiers returned to the 4-H Building on Tuesday to check on her piece in the Madison County Extension Homemaker Exhibit. Her “Babyfeet Cross-stitch” project, made for her granddaughter, received a blue ribbon from judges.

Once a former 10-year member of 4-H, she said although her children are no longer in 4-H, she enjoys scoping out the projects.

“There’s tradition and the continuity that it continues to have, and even though we’re still a smaller-scaled version, since we’re reeling with COVID and everything, it’s really nice to see that things are evolving and getting somewhat back to normal.

“The kids haven’t lost heart and they’re still working on their projects and being involved in 4-H.”

Project judging began July 8. Each 4-H project will be displayed in the 4-H Building throughout fair week, which ends July 24.

Robert G. Mull

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