Lake County 4‑H Endowment Honors Life of Jerry Snyder

Published: May 19, 2021
Lake County Endowment

When Gerald (Jerry) Snyder passed away at the end of 2020, the Snyder family knew they wanted to remember their father by honoring his commitment and service to the Lake County 4‑H program. Brian Snyder, one of Jerry’s sons, led the effort for his father’s memorial gifts to be given to the Lake County 4‑H Endowment.

Jerry was a lifelong resident in Lake County and understood the impact of 4‑H on energizing rural communities. His experience in the Lake County 4‑H program included serving as a member in his youth, then as a leader of the West Creek Wonder Workers 4‑H club, and as a 4‑H Superintendent at the Lake County Fair. The Lake County 4‑H program provided social connection, which Jerry found to be extremely important in rural areas.

In addition, Jerry enjoyed experimenting, which included setting up a rotational grazing system for hogs, a system well-suited for 4‑H projects then, before it became more broadly popular in the United States decades later.

Julie Jones, the Interim Lake County Extension Director, said, “These are the first memorial gifts given specifically for our new Endowment, and they will help ensure that 4‑H opportunities continue for the next generation of young people. We hope that other families will choose this as a way to remember their loved ones. People can also consider a gift to 4‑H as they plan for their estates.”

Contributions to the Lake County 4‑H Program Endowment directly support 4‑H youth development in the county, including hands-on learning in science, healthy living, and civic engagement.

“These funds will support educational trips and workshops, scholarships, life skill and leadership development,” said Julie.

Brian is confident that the Lake County 4‑H program will make good decisions on how to use the proceeds depending on the needs of the program.

“Even though we have mostly scattered to other parts of the country, it’s important to our family that the 4‑H program in Lake County continues to flourish, particularly in an area where rural and urban interests intersect, with production and appreciation of good food as a central theme, something that was very important to our father,” Brian said.

With a $25,000 gift given over no more than five years, any donor can start an endowment that is restricted to specific purposes or programs and are spent in such a way that the principal investment remains intact. Smaller gifts can be given to mission area endowments such as leadership, healthy living, and STEM. Indiana 4‑H Foundation’s endowment funds are held and invested by the Purdue Research Foundation through a special agreement.