Garfield County 4-H Denim to Diamonds fund-raiser |

Garfield County 4-H Denim to Diamonds fund-raiser

There was more denim than diamonds, but no one minded, especially Courtney Hutton who probably did not have time to worry about gems.

Hutton and more than 75 others attended the Garfield County 4-H Denim to Diamonds fund-raiser held Saturday, March 13, at the Ramada Inn in Glenwood.

The event raised more than $10,000 and will be used for the 400 kids in the valley who participate in 4-H. The program places adults with youth in courses that range from canning to global studies.

It teaches students essential life skills, such as financial management, record keeping, patience, persistence, goal setting and discipline. The kids put these principals into action by working on projects for months before taking it to competition at the Garfield County Fair in August.

“Fair is the funnest thing!” Said Hutton. It is the culmination of months of lessons in responsibility. For Hutton, who shows lambs and goats, 4-H has taught her how to be dependable.

“It’s bigger than doing a sport.” said Hutton. “You have that animal at your house!” That is why most mornings Hutton is up before the sun at 5:30 a.m. tending to her goat.

She fetches fresh water and food and cleans the pen every morning. After school, Hutton runs her goat up a hillside for strength training. The rest of the time is spent playing and caring for the animal so it is used to her when fair rolls around.

“That’s the reward at the end of the project.” Said Hutton. “It’s a little sad to sell your animal, but then you get the check and you’re okay.”

Nori Pearce, 4-H youth development agent, explained why 4-H is different. She said, “4-H is a family-oriented program. We work with the whole family and the program teaches the kids about themselves, how to discipline themselves and how to help others.” For Hutton, that usually means more denim than diamonds.

Scott Smith, left of Glenwood is self-employed, Caleigh Smith, 8, attends Carbondale Elementary School and is excited she is finally old enough to participate in 4-H this summer. Liesa Smith works at Pella Windows.

From left, Taylor Van-zyl, 12, of Aspen attends Aspen Country Day and shows dogs and horses, Leanna Bonds, 11, of Aspen attends Aspen Middle School and shows goats and dogs, and Izzy Zaino, 12, formerly of Aspen, now lives in New York, attends Marymount School and was back for the weekend to visit friends.

From left, Tiffany Richardson, 15, of Glenwood is a sophomore at Glenwood Springs High School and 4-H council treasurer, Kyle Johnson, 13, of Rifle is home schooled and participates in shooting sports and Annabelle Berklund, 15, of Basalt is a sophomore at Aspen High School and 4-H council vice-president.

Annie Freyschlag, left, 11, of Glenwood attends St. Stephen’s Catholic School, Catherine Whalen, 12, of Carbondale attends St. Stephen’s Catholic School and shows steers and pigs and Brenda Bamford, 12, of Carbondale, attends Carbondale Middle School.

Rick Koch, left, of New Castle works at Pella Windows, Eileen Koch home schools her daughters, Rachel Koch, 15, is home-schooled and participates in rabbits, poultry and global studies. She is holding Chloe Young of Silt, 18 months, whom she baby-sits. Savanna Koch, 11, participates in global studies, poultry, canning and sewing.

From left, Diana Casey of Rifle is a scrap booker, Alex Casey, 13, attends St. John Middle School and participates in shooting sports, Kolt Casey, 8, attends Bea Underwood Middle School and participates in shooting sports, and Travis Casey works for EnCana.

From left, Kate Foster of Basalt, is a leader in the Pen and Fowls Club, Sharon VanLue of Rifle is the leader of the Rifle AG Club and Kathy Runia of Rifle.

From left, Nori Pearce of Rifle is 4-H extension agent for Colorado State University, Ramona Jaeger of Silt is a full-time mom, 4-H leader and volunteer, and Leslie Torres of Rifle is a 4-H volunteer and the marketing coordinator for KMTS.

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