Ashley and Sarah Hagenow (left) along with Lisa and Peter Coyne with horse quilt at Baldwin, Wisconsin. Submitted photo
Ashley and Sarah Hagenow (left) along with Lisa and Peter Coyne with horse quilt at Baldwin, Wisconsin. Submitted photo

Submitted by Peter Coyne, Vita Plus

SPRING VALLEY, WI – Peter Coyne of Spring Valley, Wisconsin was the lucky recipient of the handmade quilt raffled off as the main fundraiser activity for the Columbia County Horse Project.

After an explanation of the horse project and fundraiser objectives and an introduction of members during the parade of champions ceremony held on the final day of the 2017 Columbia County Fair, the furthest traveled person (a lady from Arizona) in the crowd drew a ticket out of the sold ticket barrel where Peter was the lucky winner of the prized king size quilt while Mike Finch of St. Paul, Minnesota won the second prize of 100 dollars’ cash.

This raffle completed a very successful fundraiser which, will help support the various educational programming for the club members, fund the various competitions during the year and help maintain needed equipment for the upcoming year.  The largest project in 2017 was the relocation of the horse arena complete with new gates and building.

As is the case with most 4-H and youth organizations, fundraising is a necessary activity needed to support the various learning activities and events that offer enriching experiences for its youth.  Such is the case with the Columbia County Horse Project. 

The Columbia County Horse Project members have yearly constructed a handmade king-sized quilt that is raffled off via state licensing rules at the last day of the county fair.  

With the help of adults and quilting experts, the 4-H members spend numerous days over the winter and spring learning how quilts are made, coming up with a design, gathering material, sewing individual squares and completing the project.  This phase of the project offered members the opportunity to get to know each other outside of the “normal” horse project activities building camaraderie and learning things many previously knew little about. 

Upon completion, the quilt was on display at numerous horse shows and other public events where raffle tickets are sold for an opportunity to win it. Members also spend a great deal of time connecting with and asking for support from within their respective networks and the community for this worthy project.  Tickets are priced at one dollar each or six tickets for 5 dollars.

When the 2017 final tally was compiled, the fundraising project netted over 5,000 dollars with about 7,500 tickets sold to generous supporters from all over the Midwest. 

Peter and Lisa Coyne reside in Spring Valley, Wisconsin where they live on an 11-acre property that houses a few heifers and calves for 4-H projects. Peter works for Vita Plus in the northwest portion of the state, while Lisa owns and operates her own vintage and home decor business. Peter and Lisa and have three children - Brian, William, and Rachel - who were active members in their respective 4-H projects and now are college students or graduates of college. Peter and Lisa themselves have both been active 4-H leaders for 32 years, with Peter coaching the Pierce County Junior dairy judging team for the last 17 years. Prior to that he coached successful teams in Dakota County MN. When asked why he continues to support 4-H and its programs, Peter responded, “We support because someone supported it before us. The growth and maturity that kids gain from dealing with challenges and solving them through 4-H are skills they can’t learn anywhere else.”

Mike Finch lives with his wife, Elizabeth, in St. Paul Minnesota, where he works in the software sales industry for Sony, and Elizabeth is a college professor at a St. Paul university. Mike is originally from Buffalo, New York and lived in Madison, Wisconsin for a few years before relocating to the Twin City area. Mike’s hobbies include curling in the winter, and he plans to use the $100 toward a kitchen remodel project. Mike said he is very happy to support youth organizations and appreciates all the lessons kids learn from participating in them.

The council and members wish to thank all of the people who bought tickets for this project and supported the group in any other way.  The goals of learning, team building, engagement and conducting a successful fund-raising effort were clearly met.