Letter to the Editor

Helpful volunteers made fair a success

Friday, August 7, 2009

Letter to the Editor:

So many people, both young and old, work for months to prepare and get ready for the county fair each year and in a week or two it's over! The 2009 County Fair has got to be one of the best in recent history. Having great weather certainly helped, but so did all of the help and dedication of the entire community.

I'd like to offer my congratulations to the members of the Family Friends and Fun Extension Homemakers Club and their assistance, members of the Russellville Rustlers and the Country Bak'n Bunch Extension Homemakers Clubs for the wonderful job they did with the Family Fun Day and the extremely successful food drive. The large amount of food, personal products and money collected throughout the week of the fair will benefit many local families, who visit food pantries throughout the county.

Many thanks to everyone who helped with any part of the fair but especially to those who assisted in the Adult Open Class exhibit hall. People often ask how the number of exhibits and other things compare from one year to the next.

Total exhibits in the Adult Open Class exhibit hall were up 142 over 2008. Exhibits were up in both the foods and non-food departments. There were over 50 brand new, first time, exhibitors in the Adult Open Class exhibit hall this year.

The 2009 Bakers' Best Contest had over 100 entries again this year. Many thanks to all of the participants and those who support us at the auction. Monies from the auction this year will be donated to the fair board and used for program expenses and improvements in the Adult Open Class exhibit hall.

The 4th Annual Purse Auction was a HUGE success. Thanks to all of the clubs and individuals who donated the purses. This event was not only a financial success, but also a very fun event, thanks to the help of auctioneer Jeff Rich from Cloverdale, who was assisted this year by both current and former Putnam County Fair Queens and former Extension Homemaker County Presidents. Jeff has been a faithful supporter of the County Fair by donating his services numerous times each year.

The Quilt Block Contest was a big hit. The contest committee will begin working soon on putting the blocks together for next year's fair. Several people inquired about the possibility of doing a block contest again next year. Anyone interested in helping to work on a similar project for next year, can contact me at the Extension Office to discuss the possibility.

Jeff has not only helped with the Purse Auction since it began, he has also served as the auctioneer for the Bakers' Best Auction for over 10 years. Thanks to his many years of support to the Adult Open Class exhibit hall, he was a very deserving recipient of this year's "Spirit of the Fair" Award. The "Spirit of the Fair" Award is given annually to an individual, business or organization for outstanding support, participation, and enthusiasm in the Adult Open Class Exhibit of the Putnam County Fair. This award is given in honor of Edith Fry and Betty Sendmeyer, who worked diligently to build the Adult Open Class Exhibit, and is sponsored and selected by the Putnam County Extension Homemaker Executive Committee.

The Adult Open Class exhibit hall recently had their fair follow-up meeting. After reviewing the books, it was agreed to make a few changes in categories for next year. Some changes that were approved include moving greeting and note cards to the Scrapbooking Department and changing the scrapbook categories to be more like the categories at the state fair. Also, it was decided to move wearable arts and all sweatshirts to the clothing department. Additional suggestions have been made and are under consideration for small changes in the categories in the photography and quilt departments.

Persons interested in learning about the specific rules and categories for Adult Open Class exhibit hall in advance of the 2010 county fair can find out months rather than days in advance of the fair by contacting the Extension Office or checking our website (www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam) anytime after March 15, 2010.

Again, thanks to EVERYONE who volunteered, or participated in any way to help make the 2009 County Fair another great experience for our community.

Jackie Baumann

Extension Educator, CFS

Purdue Extension Service Putnam County