Thirteen paintings will be for sale and there will be plenty of other activities and good food when the seventh annual Extension/4-H Dinner & Auction Fundraiser is held Saturday at the Highland County Fairgrounds.
The purpose of the event is to raise funds to support the OSU Extension and 4-H programs in Highland County.
The event is put on by the Highland County Extension Support Committee. Just a few years ago, after the economic downtown forced the Highland County Board of Commissioners to cut funding for the programs, the committee raised $50,000 a year to temporarily keep the programs afloat. Committee member Jeff Parry said that much is no longer necessary, but the committee still tries to raise $7,500 to $10,000 to support the Extension office and 4-H.
“What we try to do is support the youth of Highland County through 4-H and Extension and support the county commissioners because they have been so supportive of us,” Parry said.
The event includes a dinner of roast pork loin with gravy, garlic parmesan chicken breast, mashed potatoes, green beans or corn, coleslaw, apple cake with butter cream sauce, tea, lemonade and bottled water. The cost is $10 for those age 11 and up, $7 for those ages 4-10, and $3 for anyone age 3 and under.
There will be silent and live auctions, a deejay playing dance music for the young at heart and a short presentation thanking those who have helped the committee throughout the past year.
Dinner is at 6 p.m. with the live and silent auctions to follow. It all happens in the Rabbit & Poultry Barn on the fairgrounds.
Most of the money the committee raises comes from the once a year fundraiser, but Parry said some also comes from private donations.
During both the silent and live auctions 13 paintings by Robert Kroeger of old barns or cabins in Highland County will be sold. They are painted in oil, in the impasto technique, on Masonite board, and framed in wood from the barn or cabin.
A retired Cincinnati area dentist, Kroeger has painted barns all over Ohio. But a couple years ago he attended the Highland County Fair and fell in love with the atmosphere. That’s why he has donated proceeds from his paintings to the Extension Support Committee.
“The kids reminded me of my youth in the 1950s and 1960s. They were clean cut, respectful and competitive,” Kroeger said. “There was one girl I thought did a very good job and when she didn’t win, I could see the expression of disappointment on her face, and I thought to myself, this is it.”
Kroeger sold five paintings at last year’s fundraiser and Parry said a couple of them went for more than $400.
This year he is selling 13, and they will be divided between the silent and live auctions.
He has also sold his paintings to raise money for the Highland County Historical Society.
“This will be my last one in Highland County, although I’m sure I’ll return for another in the next several years,” Kroeger said Wednesday in an email. “Since Sandy (Shoemaker) and Raymond (Friend) have been such good barn scouts, they’ve made Highland County a special place for me.”
For more information about the fundraisers, contact Kathy Bruynis, local Extension agent, at 937-393-1918 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.