Over 100 people in blue jeans and bling ate and danced the night away at the Flagler County Fairgrounds Cattleman's Hall on Friday, Jan. 26. The evening raised money for Future Farmers of America and 4-H, which both work to empower youth to reach their potential by working and learning in hands-on environments.
All proceeds from the event will benefit all the 4-H and FFA youth exhibitors who show their livestock and participate in the Flagler County Fair and Youth Show in April.
Penny Buckles, Flagler County Fair and Youth Show's vice president and manager, said after three years of "Steering Youth Forward" fundraisers, the organization decided to host this western-themed night with a goal of raising $7,500 for local youth.
"Showing and selling their livestock here is a business venture," she said about the upcoming youth show. "They set up their own accounts; there's a whole educational aspect."
The evening included a live auction, silent auction, dancing, performances by Southern Chaos and a steak dinner donated by the local cattleman's association. Tickets were $75.
"We did so well on it (last year) that I'm able to increase the scholarship fund this year," Buckles said.
She said last year's "Steering Youth Forward" event raised about $6,000, but the organization was able to raise over $10,000 overall for the scholarship fund.
"I have been the volunteer fair manager for 23 years," Buckles said. "I'm very passionate about educating kids about agriculture. To be able to do this for them — and knowing that I can continue to provide these funds for them at the next fair — means a lot to me."