FARMINGTON — Local 4-H Clubs respond to needs of 4-H families in Tennessee affected by the Great Smoky Mountains wildfires in late November, early December.

Three clubs are holding a 4-H Auction at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, in the cafeteria at Cascade Brook School.

Business donations and other items will go on the auction block to raise funds for gift cards to be sent down to these 4-H families, Darlene Yeaton-Nelson, Dairy Club advisor, said.

The Dairy Club, the Beef Boosters and the Market Club have joined together to host the auction after Richard Clark, state 4-H program leader for Tennessee, sent out a request for help to 4-H clubs nationwide, she said.

Thirty families of 4-H members lost everything to the fire and a mother and two children died, she said. In addition, the 4-H families are grappling with what to do with their 4-H animals. There are about 50 animals that need to be cared for, she said.

In late November, a fire in the Smokey Mountain National Park burned acres in Sevier County including nearby towns such as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, according to online reports.


As of early December 17,000 acres burned, 1,700 properties were damaged or destroyed and 14 fatalities were confirmed, according to the reports.

Along with responding to the needs of others 4-H families, local 4-H members are learning about auctions and what needs to be done to have one, Nelson said.  

A committee of 4-H members was instrumental in responding to the request.

“The committee decided the type of fundraiser we would hold, engaged the venue, auctioneer, and items to be donated,” she said. “Two members of the committee created invitations that they sent to invite the club members of the Beef Boosters and Marketing Club. Members will be working in various roles during the auction – greeters, office work, concession stand, ring man, and runners.”

In addition to funds raised by the 4-H clubs, the Franklin County Leaders Association is giving a ten-percent match to the amount raised, she said.

All clubs in Franklin County are donating money or holding fundraisers to buy gift cards to be sent there, she said.

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A committee of 4-H members chose to sponsor an auction to raise funds for 4-H families affected by the 2016 Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Tennessee. Pictured at a planning meeting from left are Samantha Davis of Farmington, Sadie Farrand of Norridgewock, Jason Bagley of Farmington and Bradley Smith of New Sharon.

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