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Fraser family creates endowment benefitting Harrison County 4-H’ers

4-H’ers package food for Stop Hunger Now at the Harrison County 4-H all-camp service project.

West Virginia University Extension 4-H youth development programs in Harrison County will benefit from a $50,000 endowment created to assist with the needs of community and special interest clubs across the county.

The Fraser/Skidmore Harrison County 4-H Greatest Needs Endowment was established to provide funding necessary for successful programs for the county’s 4-H’ers.

Jack and Mary Sue Fraser, along with their daughter Beth Skidmore, established the endowment fund through a gift of stock because they believe in the mission and lessons taught by 4-H.

“My years in 4-H have taught me different life skills like teamwork, leadership, public speaking, cooperation, how to ‘make the best better,’ ‘learn by doing’ and especially service,” said Skidmore.

Skidmore is a WVU Extension 4-H and Youth Development program assistant in Harrison County and a lifelong 4-H’er. She and her brothers joined as soon as they were old enough, as did her own children. Their involvement is partly because of their mother, Mary Sue Fraser. Mary Sue was a member of the Tyler County club in her youth and became involved again when her children joined.

Jack Fraser came to love the program through marriage. Now, it’s an integral part of his life, and he enjoys being able to help an organization that has given so much to his family.

“When our county shooting sports program needed four new shotguns, I asked my dad if he would be interested in funding them and, without hesitation, he said yes,” said Skidmore. “Our county has large all-camp service projects, and my parents have been great at donating funds for supplies.”

The family chose to create a greatest needs fund, as it can be used for any purpose that the organization sees fit. Skidmore says they wanted to make sure there was flexibility to use the fund as situations changed.

“We will be able to use this endowment for camp scholarships, STEM supplies, shooting sports, afterschool programming and more,” she said.

The Frasers have always been donors to the 4-H program because they believe it is a worthwhile organization. Now that the fund is established, their hope is that others are encouraged to donate, using whatever gift vehicle they prefer, to the fund as well.    

“We have seen the importance of 4-H through our daughter, and we think it is important to give back when we are able to do so. We felt this was a way that we could help to enable the continuance of the 4-H program in Harrison County,” Mary Sue Fraser said. “We feel that the 4-H program is an organization that we are proud to support.”

The gift was made through the  WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.

County 4-H youth development programs and scholarship opportunities are the cornerstones of West Virginia communities. If you would like to invest in the future of WVU students, 4-H’ers or other important WVU Extension Service programs, contact Lauren Seiler, director for development, WVU Extension at 304-293-5692 or email



CONTACT: Sydney Keener
WVU Extension Service