The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Penokee Range 4H Livestock Club holds annual fun frolic


March 19, 2018

Steve Newman/Daily Globe

KIDS SEARCH for candy-filled eggs Saturday at the 4-H Fun Frolic in Kimball. The eggs were placed in the parking lot and snowbanks around the Kimball Community Center.


KIMBALL - The Kimball Community Center was a hive of activity on Saturday as Penokee Range 4-H Livestock Club presented their annual 4-H Fun Frolic. Carol Alonen, club leader, stated that the club has been putting on the day for the past 4-5 years as a fundraiser. Among the games were a cake walk, an easter egg hunt, petting zoo and other fun. Participants purchased tickets for playing games and getting refreshments.

Those in the club have made the activity work with a team-oriented approach. Club members were setting up the easter egg hunt in the parking lot before the start of the activity. The eggs were filled with candy to make a treat for the hunters. The eggs were placed in the parking lot and around the snowbanks. Club leaders and members also brought their animals for the petting zoo.

Brock and Natalie Swartz, along with sons Brian and Brent, placed two Hereford yearling cows in a pen for kids to pet. Swartz stated that they chose to raise Hereford beef cattle due to their gentle disposition, which made them ideal animals for a petting zoo. Swartz, in addition to raising cattle and chickens, works full time at Xcel Energy and volunteers at Kimball Fire Department. He believes it is valuable for his family to sacrifice and invest time and resources to enjoy the benefits of farm life.

Swartz considers himself a "third generation" farmer. His grandfather had a dairy farm near Saxon, but the barn burned down, and none of the second generation took up farming, but he is trying to revive the tradition. Swartz is investing in his small herd of cattle, and his children will annually sell one of their cattle at the livestock auction at the county fair, he realized that part-time farming was necessary, but continues to do so for the other benefits for his family. Swartz stated "It's a hobby. I don't have a boat or anything, so this is what I do."

Near the entrance of the community center, young people, Callie Huotari and Noah Coakley set up pens for their rabbits as part of the petting zoo. Callie brought her albino rabbit, named Bunny, and the rabbit seemed very content to be held and petted. Noah brought his "lion head" rabbit named Clover. Clover was distinguished by a ring of long hair around her head. Noah stated that he had to keep an eye on Clover, because she might be more likely to run. Noah said if she got loose at home and "if you let her go, she is dang fast!"

Brent Swartz brought his dog, Diesel along as part of the petting zoo, and the Swartz family also had chickens in cages. One of the games inside, called "chicken bingo," involved the chickens. Inside the building, there were many more games for the kids. One of the main features of the event was the easter egg hunt in the back parking lot. 4-H club members hid the eggs in the snowbanks and around the parking lot for children to find.

Groups of children formed a ring in one of the rooms of the community center and held a cake walk for prizes. They would walk around the circle while the music played, and when the music stopped, they sat down. The chairs were numbered, and if a child were in the chair with the right number, they would get a prize. Nearby was a booth for face painting as well as other games and prizes. Families and children filled the community center for the fun and family togetherness throughout the morning and early afternoon.


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