“4-H: More Than You Ever Imagined” is the theme of the first-ever Otoe County 4-H Foundation banquet. The event will be Saturday, Feb. 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Kimmel Event Center in Syracuse. There will be auction and raffle items, and State Senator Kate Bolz, an Otoe County 4-H alumna, will be the guest speaker. “I’m sure all of us have very fond memories of our involvement in 4-H through the years,” said Mark Easter, president of the newly-formed foundation. “The skills learned and the personal contacts made by the young people during their years in the program will be used throughout their lives. “In my mind, one of the truly unique benefits 4-H has over other activities is that it involves teamwork between the parent and child — one-on-one time where they work together to complete the project at hand. “Our job as a foundation is to be a vehicle to get more families involved in 4-H, and to provide funding which will allow all 4-H members to experience the opportunities that are there for the taking.” Tickets for the banquet are $25 each, or a table of eight can be sponsored for $160. Sponsors of a table may promote their family, 4-H club or business by decorating it however they please. Make reservations by calling the Otoe County Extension office no later than Friday, Feb. 1. Tickets are also available through the foundation board of directors — John Crook (402-253-4815), Mark Easter (402)297-1212), Dave Hall (402-269-5372), Lacy Johnson (402-269-2420), Linda Shanks (402-269-7442), Donna Sluka Smith (402-297-7533), Victoria Talcott (402-782-2009). Funds donated to the foundation are tax deductible, and support 4-H programming beyond the traditional sponsorship of trophies and livestock auctions. The foundation’s mission is “to enhance 4-H programming, secure financial support for local 4-H programs, and to develop area youth for future generations.” Causes include awarding scholarships to county 4-H members to attend state 4-H camps and providing college scholarships for graduating seniors. Funds will also help with county 4-H clubs and 4-H council, as well as trips to national contests and events and the Citizen Washington Focus trip.