4-H Youth Host Mini Dance Marathon and Donate to U of I Dance Marathon

4-Her and cancer survivor Makenzie Sieren presented a check from Region 15 4-H families for $928.32 to U of I Dance Marathon representatives Taylor Huber and Aleisha Norton at Region 15 4-H Jr. Camp.  

            Annually ISU Extension’s Region 15 (Iowa, Johnson, Keokuk and Washington Counties) work together to offer a 4-H Jr Camp to their 4th – 6th grade members. It is an opportunity for youth from all of those counties to meet kids beyond their own club and county walls. But this year, the 64 youth participants and 17 high school counselors did something unprecedented.

            Inspired by the unfortunate monster of cancer touching too many young lives, Region 15 4-H staff wanted to make a difference. “Each year a part of our 4-H Jr Camp is community service but this year we wanted to do something different, something powerful,” shared Amy Green, Washington County 4-H/Youth Coordinator. “We wanted these campers to be able to give to, care for and learn how they can support their own friends and family who have to go through cancer. It has recently affected so many young kids in all of our counties and we knew our kids cared.”

            Region 15 4-H staff connected immediately with a high school 4-H member from Keokuk County who was selected as a camp counselor, Makenzie Sieren, but who had battled cancer herself three years ago. She graciously took on this project with passion and wanted to host a mini dance marathon for jr camp. She contacted her own U of I Dance Marathon partner to come and share as well.

            Campers were invited to collect donations leading up to camp or to give themselves. The evening of July 12 Region 15 4-H hosted their own mini dance marathon. July 13 they heard from a Washington County 4-H family who had benefited from services of the U of I Dance Marathon.  Mother Christina Waters shared her daughter Jenna’s story beating cancer. Jenna is now a Washington County 4-Her and her brother Bryce was a camp counselor.


For the rest of this article, check out the June 24th issue of the Keota Eagle.