9-Year-Old Raises Funds For Orphans Through 4-H Project

CHICKS 4 ORPHANS - 9-year-old Lawrence Werth (right) and his father Monte place eggs in an incubator at their home in O'Neill. Starting with a goal of $200, Lawrence was able to raise more than $1,300 for Chicks 4 Orphans from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Photo by Amanda Greger

By Amanda Greger
Staff Writer
A local 9-year-old boy has raised more than $1,300 to donate to Chicks 4 Orphans. The project is one that has touched Lawrence Werth of O'Neill personally because his little sister, LaShanna, is an orphan from China.
Starting out with a goal of $200, Lawrence was able to raise $1,300.68 between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Chicks 4 Orphans is a sustainable poultry farming business in Zambia and a ministry of Every Orphan's Hope. 
"I love my sister and she is one of the lucky children to be adopted. I seen an ad in the adoption flier about chickens and eggs for food for orphans and I wanted to send some of my 4-H chickens to the children," Lawrence said. "My mom told me we could not send my 4-H chickens but I could do a fund-raiser and send donations for chicks to the orphans and foster families in need of food."
Lawrence and his parents traveled to China when he was 6 years old to adopt his sister who was 2 1/2 years old then. The trip made an impression on Lawrence on how fortunate he is.
What started out as a simple 4-H project learning how to raise, care for, hatch, show and the principles of entrepreneurship (selling eggs and chickens) has turned into a global project in less then four years. He raises more than 40 chickens each year for his projects at the family's farm north of O'Neill. Lawrence is a member of the local 4-H group Up & At It. 
"He has always been willing to help others," his mother said. "He took the Google lemonade stand class and donated his proceeds to helped the local animal shelter and volunteers handing out food at the monthly food bank."
Lawrence raised the money by hosting events such as a "jeans day" for fellow students at St. Mary's Elementary School and auctioning off chickens at the Shamrock Livestock Market. 
"His teacher, Ms. Cole, and his whole class helped him raise funds," said his mother LaDonna Werth. "Ms. Cole turned it into a class project which was wonderful."
More than half of the donations were mailed by anonymous donors. One of the letters read, "What a great idea and great guy you must be."
"We had people donate from as far away as Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Iowa. The letters included stories and notes of encouragement," said his father Monte Werth. "The O'Neill newspaper really went with it. If it wouldn't have been for you guys passing it on to the Norfolk and Omaha papers he may not have had so many people respond."
For more information about Chicks 4 Orphans, visit www.everyorphan.org or holtinternational.org

Winter Frolics Coronation At O'Neill High School

ROYALTY CANDIDATES - The O'Neill High School will host its annual Winter Frolics from 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Jan. 17. Coronation of the royalty will take place at 10 p.m. The public is invited to the coronation. Pictured front row (l-r) are queen candidates: Samantha Slack, Kristiana Thompkins, Abby Krysl, Catrina Spangler, Davita Dick and Nicole Babutzke. Pictured back row (l-r) are king candidates: Marcus McNichols, Dion Nemec, Jonathan Hunt, Jacob Goldfuss, Nathan Gotschall and Brock Schueth. Courtesy photo

West Holt Medical Services Welcomes Hoover As New Chief Nursing Officer

A leader with more than 23 years of experience in a variety of nursing roles has joined West Holt Medical Services as the chief nursing officer.

Tom Hoover’s nursing career began at Bryan LGH Medical Center where he worked in the emergency room as an LPN for 11 years, an RN, charge nurse and assistant nurse manager for five years and was the manager for the nationally recognized program ED Connections (Emergency Department Case Manager Program) for seven years. ED Connections was a collaborative effort between Bryan LGH Medical Center, Lincoln General and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Hoover developed this program, which received recognition from the American Case Management Association (ACMA), Synthesis Inc. and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

He earned his associate of science in nursing at Excelsior College of Nursing in Albany, NY; bachelor of science in nursing, bachelor of science in business administration healthcare management and master of business administration healthcare management from Colorado Technical University.

Hoover said he chose to come to WHMS for the opportunity to work for an organization that truly lives its mission and vision while committed to quality care, community support and progressive strategic plan.

“My wife Becky and I celebrated our 30 year anniversary last year. She grew up in Hebron and I am from Wilber," he said. "We have three children: Amanda, Nathan and Rachel. 

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