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EBay and Garfield help Mississippi 4-H
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An online marketing site and a mischievous comic strip cat are teaming up to benefit Mississippi's 4-H youth organization.
In honor of the national organization's centennial year in 2002, eBay will auction limited-edition prints of a Garfield comic strip, hand signed by creator Jim Davis. Sales will benefit the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Caribbean Islands and the Pacific Islands. Proceeds from the Feb. 10 through 16 auction will go to Mississippi's 4-H Foundation to promote youth programs across the state.
Jim Davis, a former 4-H'er, created an original acrylic painting on canvas featuring Garfield and the 4-H pledge. Weekly auctions to benefit each state started in November and will continue for one year. Each week a 4-H State Foundation will receive half of the selling price (highest bid) of the print. Bidding is open to anyone 18 years or older regardless of his or her state of residency. The minimum bid is $250.
"This is truly a unique way to promote the 4-H centennial celebration and financially support the state programs at the same time," said Susan Holder, state 4-H leader with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.
Mississippi is one of a handful of states that lay claim to the original 4-H clubs. In the early 1900s, agricultural college professors organized Farmer's Institutes in nearly all states to bring the latest scientific agricultural information to farmers and their families. In 1902, boys' corn clubs and girls' tomato clubs were organized in parts of Illinois and Ohio.
Mississippi became the first state to receive federal money to support boys' and girls' demonstration clubs in 1907 when the U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsored clubs in Holmes County. School superintendent W.H. Smith organized 82 members who exhibited corn at a local fair, and he became known nationally as "Corn Club" Smith.
Holder encourages Mississippians to place their bids between Feb. 10 and 16 to directly benefit the state's 4-H program. The prints, which are 15-by-35 inches, have sold for more than $1,000 each.
For more information or to place bids, visit the Internet website www.4-hmall.org/garfieldprint.htm or visit the eBay website and search for "Garfield and 4-H."