The Noble FFA doubled the money it made during a spring barbecue dinner.
Hampton-Noble Masonic Lodge 29 recently presented $2,000 in matching funds obtained through the Oklahoma Masonic Charity Foundation to the FFA chapter.
Duane Lenhardt, agriculture education teacher and FFA advisor at Curtis Inge Middle School and Noble High School, said each year students raise and show hogs and other animals. Students and community members donated four hogs to the barbecue event. The meal consisted of pulled pork, baked potatoes, baked beans, a dinner roll, drink and dessert, for $5. Students and masons served and helped in various capacities at the dinner.
"It's a great way for the kids to give back to the community," Lenhardt said. "It's community service because the whole dinner was $5. They enjoy the preparation and serving."
Timothy Whitehead, Noble FFA chapter president, said the event is always fun.
"It's definitely nice to see people in the community who come and support us," Whitehead said. "It's not everywhere you can get a meal for that price. It helps the community and it's bonding for us."
Scott Culbreath, worshipful master at the Masonic Lodge, expressed his support of the event and Noble FFA.
"As masons, we want to help the community, and I can't think of a better group to help than the FFA," Culbreath said. "They always come and tell us what they use the money for and 100% goes to help the kids."
DeWayne Tolson, lodge mason and secretary, said he showed pigs and sheep as a former member of 4-H and FFA. He joined 4-H when he was 9 years old and remained a member until he joined the FFA as a high school freshman.
"Back then, we had corporate sponsors, but now we don't have as many," Tolson said. "Nowadays, 4-H and FFA have to raise lots of funds, because it costs a lot of money to go to conferences."
Funds raised at the dinner combined with the mason's matching funds totaled $4,000 that will be used to send students to conferences and help support the Noble FFA chapter.
Culbreath said FFA teaches more than agricultural skills. Leadership is a big component, and there are many female officers in the chapter.
"It's not just a boys' club," he said.
Culbreath attended a FFA banquet at the end of the school year, and he said students entirely ran the meeting.
"I was impressed with their leadership skills," Culbreath said. "Lenhardt stepped back and let the kids run the show. FFA has to do with agriculture, but it's also about leadership, community and developing the skills necessary to function in society."
For more information, contact Lenhardt through Noble High School at 872-3441.