4-H Barrow benefits Ethan Kunkel family
Kempton Fire Co. Deputy Chief is battling leukemia
The second annual Berks County 4-H Club Benefit Barrow will help a Kempton father of five who is battling leukemia.
Ethan Kunkel, who is Kempton Fire Company Deputy Chief and involved in Berks County 4-H Dairy and Livestock clubs, was recently diagnosed with leukemia. A minor 4-wheeler accident on his Kempton farm lead
to the discovery of his illness.
“The second annual Benefit Barrow is being raised this year to show our support for the Ethan Kunkel family of Kempton. We’re all pulling for Ethan,” said Michele Brown, Assistant Swine Club Leader of the Berks County 4-H Swine Club. “Just a well organized, hard working family that contributes to the agricultural community. We wish them the best of luck.”
Kunkel is a member of Virginville Grange, Kempton and Kutztown Rod and Gun clubs and New Bethel Church in Kempton. He is also involved in the Kempton Community Center and served as Dairy Superintendent at the 2017 Kempton Fair.
Brown said the idea for the Berks County 4-H Club Benefit Barrow was inspired by the Erie County Charity Hog.
“They’ve been doing it for at least the last 15 years. Every year the Erie kids pick a charity,” said Brown, explaining that the hog, feed, veterinary certificate and processing are all donated. “I read about it on Facebook. A classmate of mine does a charity that benefits families of cancer patients and they raised over $10,000. I thought it would be a good idea to bring it to Berks.”
Last year’s Benefit Barrow raised more than $14,000 for the family of Bret Hansley Jr. who was killed in a motorcycle accident in April 2016.
“I think last year’s barrow, because of the nature of the beneficiary and the accident and the family was one of our own, just tugged at everybody’s heartstrings,” said Brown. “There were a lot in the agricultural community that really reached out and pitched in.”
Brown said the 4-H Swine Club felt it is important to reach out and help someone in the community so they decided to continue the Benefit Barrow for a second year.
“This year we wanted to repeat the program. It’s a great community service opportunity for the (4-H) kids and it creates a lot of awareness for the (4-H) program in general,” said Brown. “The venue in which we auction off the hog is part of the regular 4-H Round-Up so it creates some publicity and awareness for the regular 4-H program as well as the Benefit Barrow program.”
The Swine Club voted to make the Ethan Kunkel family of Kempton the beneficiary for this year’s Benefit Barrow. Brown noted that the oldest Kunkel daughter is a member of the Swine Club.
“The barrow, all feed, veterinary certificate, and processing fees are all being donated by various members of the community,” said Brown.
The barrow will be raised by Fleetwood resident Zaren Kerper, an FFA member who graduated from Oley Valley High School.
The barrow was donated by Carl Rabenold and family in Kutztown. The feed is being donated by K&K Feeds in Richland and Reifsnyder’s Ag Center in Bernville.
The barrow will be on display at the Kutztown Fair the week of Aug. 14 and will sell during the Round-Up Sale, following the Champion and Reserves, on Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Kutztown Fairgrounds. Shares are available in $25 increments for those who would like to participate but not bid in the auction.
Also during the 2017 Kutztown Fair is this year’s Celebrity Swine Showmanship Contest, held Monday, Aug. 14 at the Kutztown Fairgrounds. The Celebrity Swine Showmanship Contest will feature superintendents and principals from local Berks County school districts.