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Lehigh County Commissioners recognize 4-H Week

March 12-18 was Pennsylvania 4-H Week and Lehigh County Commissioners took time to recognize Talia Fogel of the farm-to-table club and Olivia Wisser of the dairy club, both 10th graders, for their accomplishments during the March 8 commissioners’ meeting.

Lehigh County 4-H is comprised of 4,000 students, ages 5 to 18, according to Lehigh County Commissioners Chair Geoff Brace. He took time to reminisce about his own days as a 4-H student.

“Back in the 80s and 90s, I participated in a 4-H program where I learned some carpentry skills that I still use working on my historic home in center city Allentown,” Brace said.

Fogel, who has been part of the program for five years, addressed the board saying “I’ve learned a myriad lessons from 4-H.”

Focusing on her public speaking skills, she went on to say “a few years ago, I would probably be shaking up here. While I’m still a little nervous, I’m definitely not shaking and I think I owe that to 4-H.”

Wisser explained, “I’m a member of the dairy club and this is my eighth year. I have learned a lot about the dairy industry.”

In other meeting news, commissioners passed Bill 2023-08 granting $904,000 of the county’s American Rescue Plan fund be distributed to 59 nonprofit organizations across the county.

Carmen Bell, of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, told the commissioners “we were truly humbled by the fact that Lehigh County trusted us to manage the grant application process, and just focus on the fact that we operated the application portal.

“We provided a rubric through which the applications could be vetted and scored. And then assisting with providing an internal [process] so that a decision can be made as to which organizations will be funded.”

“We appreciate the trust that the county has instilled in us and we appreciate the partnership to bring good things to our community,” Bell added.

Among the recipients of the funds are:

•ArtsQuest with $25,000

•Cedar Crest College with $3,000

•Community Fire Company of New Tripoli with $25,000

•Emmaus Historical Society with $5,000 funding

•Operation Address Homelessness with $25,000

•KidsPeace with $10,000

•United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley with $150,000

A full list of recipients of the COVID-relief funds under the American Rescue Plan can be found on the county’s website: lehighcounty.org.