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A gift for the ages

Curt Chergosky and Andrea Ruesch

Curt Chergosky of rural Lakefield designated a 400-acre estate gift worth over $4 million to 4-H youth development in memory of his late fiancée, 4-H program coordinator Andrea Ruesch, who died suddenly in 2009 after blood clots formed in her lungs. KARE-11's Boyd Huppert has featured their beautiful and moving story on his show, "Land of 10,000 Stories."

Andrea is remembered for her boundless passion for 4-H and devotion to youth, as well as her positivity and enthusiasm for working with people and community organizations.

The donation eventually will be split among three funds held with the Minnesota 4-H Foundation: the Minnesota 4-H Foundation Agricultural Endowment; the Andrea Ruesch Jackson County Endowment; and the Andrea Ruesch 4-H Scholarship Endowment, which supports post-secondary scholarships for youth in nine counties in southwest Minnesota.

The Andrea Ruesch Jackson County endowment and scholarship fund were established four years ago with gifts from Mr. Chergosky and Andrea's parents, Leonard and Marjorie Ruesch.

The 4-H Foundation's agricultural endowment is a newly established fund. Its goals include increased youth participation in 4-H animal science and agriculture, new curriculum and project development, and support of 4-H youth attendance at state and national learning opportunities. It will also provide opportunities for youth to learn about agriculture-related jobs as the United States faces a shortage of agricultural scientists. Visit the Andrea Ruesch Regional 4-H Scholarship page to learn more about the fund, scholarship opportunities and how to donate, or contact Cara Miller.

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