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4-H District roundup kicks off today

Emily Melton will compete in a fashion show at 4-H District Roundup at Troy University today. The outfit that she will model is from a couple of local thrift shops.

That fact might raise some eyebrows and, before this week, it would have caused Emily to pause herself. But no more.

Emily is competing in “The $15 Challenge Fashion Show,” which is designed as a consumer education project.

“In the competition, you have to shop at a thrift shop or consignment shop and spend less than $15 on your outfit,” Emily said. “When I went shopping, I didn’t really expect to find anything, but I found tons of stuff that I liked – real cute things.”

For “The $15 Challenge,” Emily bought a skirt from Twice as Nice and a top from Goodwill and, not just for the “Challenge.”

“I like my outfit a lot and I’ll definitely wear it at other times,” Emily said. “I learned that, when money is tight, you can go to thrift stores and find some really nice things and for much cheaper prices. I got a lot of things that I couldn’t have bought anywhere else.”

Tammy Powell, Pike County Extension coordinator, said “The $15 Challenge” is an eye-opening activity and teaches young people about wise shopping and money management.

“There’s also a public speaking component to ‘The ‘$15 Challenge,’” Powell said. “Not only do the 4-H’ers have to model their outfits, they also must explain why they purchased them. It’s a real learning experience.”

“The $15 Challenge” is not unlike the other 19 events in which 4-H qualifiers from 10 counties will compete.

“We have 53 4-H’ers from Pike County who will compete,” Powell said. “The events will include a little of everything from Chef 4-H, which is a food demonstration, to Project Green Thumb, which is a plant and soil science experiment. We have events that have been around for a long time, like the Chicken-Que, public speaking and photography, and we also have relatively new competition opportunities including ‘I’ve Got a Story’ and ‘What Would You Build?’ and ‘Healthy Living for Life’ exhibits.”

Powell said the 2009 4-H District Roundup will feature the top competitors from each of the 10 counties in each division.

“All of these young people have put a lot of time, planning and effort into their areas of competition, and they are each to be congratulated on a job well done in order to get to this level of competition,” Powell said. “We are looking forward to a very competitive District Roundup and, although we’ll all be busy and working hard, we’ll also have a lot of fun. This is a great opportunity for our 4-H’ers and a real-life learning experience.”