Five county fairgrounds win Fairground Facelift grants

Five fairground improvement projects will receive a total of $7,000 in grants through Grinnell Mutual’s Fairground Facelift initiative. The annual promotion gives county fairgrounds in Grinnell Mutual’s writing territory a chance to rally their communities and raise money to make improvements.

Fountain County 4-H Fairgrounds, Veedersburg, Ind.

Based on votes from Facebook users, Grinnell Mutual will present the grand prize winner, Fountain County 4-H Fairgrounds in Veedersburg, Ind., with a check for $3,000 for “Restroom Overhaul.” The project will replace and update the restrooms and add baby-changing stations, energy efficient lighting, and a dressing area.

“I entered Grinnell Mutual’s Fairground Facelift because our fairgrounds need revitalization,” said Cheri Krug, Fountain County Extension board member. “This will provide a safer environment for our youth and a more accessible restroom for the public.”

The project received nearly 7,000 votes. The community response did not go unnoticed in Fountain County.

Krug, who submitted the project, said “Fairground Facelift has opened our eyes to how much support we have from the community.

“The response has proven the love this small community has for our Fountain County 4-H Fair and fairgrounds. 4-H and our fair have given us, our families, and our friends memories that will last a lifetime. These kids are our future.”

Fountain County Fairground Facelift

Grinnell Mutual received nearly 130 project submissions from 13 states. Facebook users then cast more than 20,000 votes for their favorite projects among the 15 finalists. The five winning recipients shared a total of $7,000 worth of grants and were chosen based on the number of votes received.

“Fairground Facelift grants are another way Grinnell Mutual supports the towns where our customers live, work, and play,” said Barb Baker, director of advertising and community relations. “County fairgrounds celebrate family, friendship, and relationships — the stuff that matters. That’s why we want to be part of sustaining them for future generations.”

Four other county fairgrounds will each receive $1,000 toward their fairground renovation projects.

Benton County Fair Grounds, Vinton, Iowa

Benton County Fair Grounds will receive $1,000 to add electric outlets for fans in the horse barn to keep horses and kids cool.

“This project has been needed for many years,” said 13-year-old Raegan Junge, a Benton County 4-H member who submitted the project. “It's hard to show your horses in a hot arena all day.”

Junge has been a part of the fairgrounds her entire life and spends much of her time there. She appreciated the support her community showed for the fairground project.

“I would like to thank Grinnell Mutual for this opportunity and for the grant. I also would like to thank everyone in Benton county that believed that my project was important and voted. Thank you all for your support!”

Fountain County Fairground Facelift

Corson County Fairground, McIntosh, S.D.

Corson County Fairground will receive $1,000 for “Keeping Kids & Critters Cool,” a project to help with ventilation in the exhibition barn.

“The three hottest days of the year often seem to be the dates of our fair. People and animals suffer in the barn,” said Dawne Donner, Corson County 4-H program assistant and Corson County Fair Board treasurer. “We wanted to come up with a solution, and the exhaust fans will be the most financially attainable.”

The county’s 4-H program is growing, and Donner hopes to have the fans in place by the 2019 fair.

“Receiving this grant means that we are one step closer to making an improvement that will be beneficial for years to come,” said Donner, who submitted the project. “I am sure that the families and animals that have been sweltering in the barn will be very appreciative.

“I would like to thank all of my Facebook friends who shared Grinnell Mutual’s Fairground Facelift to their personal pages and then to group pages. The Corson County Fair Board would like to thank Grinnell Mutual for their support of community programs!”

Fountain County Fairground Facelift

Dawson County Fairgrounds, Glendive, Mont.

Dawson County Fairgrounds will receive $1,000 for new exhibit displays to replace the old, heavy, bulky displays used by 4-H, schools, and open-class fair projects.

“We would like to thank our entire community,” said Tacee DaSaye, fair manager. “The most exciting part was seeing how many people in our community were rallying for us to win. There were three businesses in town who started their own competition for voting for our fairgrounds.”

The voting may be complete, but the community-wide effort will continue. The fairgrounds plans to partner with the Dawson County High School industrial arts program to build some of the new displays. They also have been looking into purchasing dividers from Screenflex for artwork and photography.

“These new exhibit displays will be portable which will make it easier for our volunteers to move. They’ll also take up less room so more of the exhibit building can be used for events. Having our community — young and old — getting and staying involved with the fair is important to us,” said DeSaye, who submitted the project.

Fountain County Fairground Facelift

Garvin County Fairgrounds, Pauls Valley, Okla.

Garvin County Fairgrounds will receive $1,000 for “Ditchin’ the Kitchen,” a project to replace and remodel the outdated and unsafe kitchen facility in the fairgrounds community building.

According to Tracie Mullendore, Oklahoma State University Extension program assistant, the kitchen needed repairs and new appliances.

“The facility has seen a lot of years,” said Mullendore, who submitted the project. “I felt it was something the community could all be a part of and, sure enough, they rallied.”

Since winning a Fairground Facelift grant, friends of the fairgrounds have pledged donations to help make the project a reality.

“I could spend all day thanking people. I'm so proud of our community and Facebook friends. We had people from all over, including California, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, voting for our project.”

Fountain County Fairground Facelift