4-H Ontario office reopens

It’s a partnership that continues to grow … in a good way.

On Sept. 9, 4-H Ontario with the support of Gencor, celebrated its office re-opening at 5653 on Highway 6, north of Guelph.

The 4-H offices recently underwent a renovation in the facility as the organization prepares to increase support and serve the stakeholders of 4-H Ontario. At 2,000 square feet, the new office space provides a professional and productive environment. Since 2000, 4-H Ontario has received rent-in-kind worth over $250,000 from Gencor. That is in addition to the leadership of Gencor in facilitating events such as the Friends for 4-H Fundraiser.

A lease agreement to 2015, worth another $250,000 brings the Gencor commitment to over $500,000.

Following a barbecue lun­ch­eon, 4-H marketing and events coordinator Andrew Moore said, “Thank you for putting up with us during the renovation noise and all the work that was going on.”

Patty Lasby, President, Ontario 4-H Council, said “On behalf of the 4-H council we’d like to thank Gencor and all you fine people for your support of the 4-H program.”

She cited all the help in the promotion of 4-H. “We certainly do appreciate our new office downstairs.” She thanked Gen­cor general manager Brian O’Connor, for his help and that of his staff over the years.

Lyndon Stewart,  Executive Director of 4-H Ontario, echoed those comments.

“First of all, for being part of a great environment to work in. It’s a true pleasure to be in a building like this, full of great people. It’s enjoyable to come to work – regardless of how hard the day is – you know you’re going to have a good day because of the people who work here. Each on of you deserve a pat on the back for contributing towards that success.”

He said Gencor leads by example. “It’s certainly our priviledge to return that this one time, and invite everyone to join us here to celebrate.”

Stewart spoke of the relationship with the company.

“Gencor, as you know, since 2000, stepped up to the plate at a critical time, when the Ministry of Agricultural and Food needed to switch from being a delivery partner with its 45 offices across On­tario, to being a financial partner. It was a monumental day in April 2000, and that was a time when 4-H was, all of a sudden, on its own.”

O’Connor called Rob Black and offered space for the organization.

“Ever since then, we’ve enjoyed the 4-H family, the Gencor family, and the tenant family that have existed here and across at the other campus. We’re celebrating a quarter million dollar investment today that you’ve given us.”

He explained that investment has meant money not spent in rent could be directed into member programs, volunteer training, and delivering 4-H programs across Ontario.

“Even more exciting is the next quarter million Gencor has pledged. It means a roof over our heads with great facilities, and a great, efficient and well-designed facility.”

Stewart also recognized Semex partners who were at the opening. “They’re an extension of the 4-H family.”

Lyle Martin, Gencor board of directors president, said most of the directors have gone through the 4-H program “and we do see a lot of value in the people who do take the program. I’m glad to be part of this celebration and glad that we can give space to 4-H, and I’m, also glad to see staff work so well together.”

Gencor general manager Brian O’Connor said, “I guess the quickest and easiest thing for us to say is, ‘There’s no need to thank us,’ but we’re glad you did.”

“It’s truly and extraordinary organization , and helping 4-H is a high priority for us, even in challenging times like we face now. This organization is so well run, and has such a passion for what it does in making a difference for rural youth. We’re just very excited and honoured to be associated with them. 4-H is an important part of the cultural fabric, and without the leadership that you have right from your boards and your staff, the leaders, the parents who are involved, is what really makes this whole thing work.

“It’s very easy for us to support and work with you, and to help make a difference for rural youth. We enjoy the relationship as much as you do, so it’s very nice to hear those words. It’s a breath of fresh air to have the 4-H team around here.”

O’Connor added, “We’re not done helping yet. You’re welcome here for a very long time, and we look forward to working closely with you well into the future.”