Endowment established for future Fairgrounds projects

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Putnam County Community Foundation has announced the creation of a new endowment supporting maintenance and capital improvement projects of the Putnam County Fairgrounds.

The Fair Board Endowment Committee has set an initial goal of reaching $100,000 by the end of the year.

"I have enjoyed the Fairgrounds all my life, and now my kids are enjoying the Fairgrounds," Endowment Committee Chairman Ray Poynter Jr. said. "Anyone having experience with the benefits of the Putnam County Fair would agree that we need to be sure it will be there 10, 20, 50, or even 100 years from now. I want to be sure the Fairgrounds are there for my grandchildren."

The Putnam County Fairgrounds has been a cherished focal point for county attractions since 1954. During the summer it provides a welcoming location for the County Fair. During the rest of the year, it offers a convenient, centrally located facility for meetings, weddings, and other events.

The Fairgrounds is not owned by the county or any unit of government and does not receive any tax monies. The Putnam County Fair and 4-H Club Association Inc. is an independent 501(c)3 public charity.

Many years ago, the county did provide the Fairgrounds with approximately $40,000 each year; however, with local tax revenue decreases, county officials eliminated this support. Since that time, Fair Board directors have been doing everything possible to stay solvent. They rely gratefully on the generosity of many individuals and businesses that support them every year. They hold other events during the Fair and during the rest of the year, which generate revenue for the facilities. However, as the buildings age and the cost of operations and building materials rises, it is clear that the Fairgrounds will need additional funding.

The Fair Board asked the Putnam County Community Foundation to set up a permanent endowment for the Fairgrounds. Donations to the Endowment will be protected by the Putnam County Community Foundation. The payout each year to the Fairgrounds will be 4.5 percent of the Endowment's fund balance. Over time, the Endowment will generate yearly revenue for maintenance and capital improvement projects at the Putnam County Fairgrounds.

"This is a strategic step toward securing the future of our Fairgrounds," Foundation Executive Director Elaine Peck said. "In 18 years, endowments administered by the Community Foundation will nearly double in size and will have paid out more than was originally contributed."

A Fair Kick-Off Party is set for 2-4 p.m. Sunday, July 10 in the Community Building of the Fairgrounds. Contributions to the Endowment are welcome and should be made payable to the Putnam County Community Foundation with "Putnam County Fairgrounds" in the memo. They can be mailed to 2 S. Jackson St., Greencastle, IN 46135.

Foundation staff members are available to help donors make gifts of cash, stock, retirement assets, life insurance, bequests, real estate and other types of gifts to the Endowment.

The Putnam County Community Foundation was established in 1985 and administers more than 220 funds and endowments for donors, supporting a variety of charitable purposes. To learn more about how to make a contribution to this Endowment or start a new fund, visit www.pcfoundation.org or contact Elaine Peck at 653-4978.

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