A generous $200,000 gift from a prominent 4-H alumna and an outpouring of support at the 2019 Georgia 4-H Gala catapulted the fundraising effort to rebuild the Rock Eagle Chapel at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center past its $400,000 goal on Aug. 10.
“Georgia 4-H is grateful to Kelly Loeffler for the generous and thoughtful contribution to our Rock Eagle Chapel restoration campaign. Her investment in our organization was an inspiration to all alumni and supporters to be a part of the efforts, and ensured the attainment of our fundraising goal,” said Johnathon Barrett, executive director of the Georgia 4-H Foundation. “This gift is appreciated by all Georgia 4-H’ers and will be for generations to come.”
Loeffler is CEO of Bakkt, a regulated, global ecosystem for digital currencies, and a member of the executive team at Intercontinental Exchange, which operates more than a dozen global market infrastructures, including the New York Stock Exchange. She is also co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, the first women-owned professional sports team in Atlanta.
Shared memories and stories of 4-H “resonate with so many of us and center in our hearts and minds what 4-H has meant to each of us,” said Loeffler at the Georgia 4-H Gala. “They remind us what each of our experiences have meant to our development and growth. These 4-H projects and our 4-H leaders were really mentors and guides and guideposts that taught us and brought us along in life. There are so many of these wonderful memories which I personally benefited from and continue to benefit from.”
Recalling working with her father in the cattle feedlots on her family’s farm in Illinois or sewing and baking with her mother, Loeffler said these memories were lessons that have helped her in the business world.
“They also encourage me to think toward the future of 4-H and that was really the reason we wanted to contribute to this effort,” Loeffler said. “As honorary Georgians, we are really proud to be able to contribute to something that looks to the future of 4-H and contributes to this beautiful chapel being restored.”
The Rock Eagle Chapel was severely damaged in February due to an electrical fire caused by wildlife damage. Construction on the restoration has begun and is expected to be completed by February 2020, Barrett said.