Fair board establishes a foundation

A participant shows his
animal during the Showmanship Sweepstakes at the 2013 Wood County Fair. A new show arena could be a
beneficiary of the proposed foundation. (Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune, file)

With only 31 days remaining until the start of the 2014 Wood County Fair, the senior fair board continued
its preparations at Thursday’s meeting. The board also took the first step toward setting up a
foundation to accommodate long-term investments and donations.
On the heels of a $50,000 donation recently made from the estate of Leonard and Margaret Davis, the board
approved moving forward with the establishment of a separate foundation within the Wood County
Agricultural Society.
The board approved spending $875 to hire Victor Ten Brink as legal adviser to establish the necessary
requirements for the fund. Further action will be required later.
On the advice of Ten Brink, the board established setting the name as the Wood County Fair Foundation.
Rather than create the foundation as its own entity as a separate 501c non profit, the attorney said and
the board agreed, to have the foundation operate within the confines of fair operations.
Once established, the foundation would be set up to better handle donations such as that received from
the Davis estate. The couple designated the funds be used toward a new building for the fairgrounds.
Fair board member Steve Speck presented the information to the board. He shared the information from the
meetings that he, along with treasurer Dale Brown and fair board manager Dick King had with Ten Brink.

Speck said it is important the board have the foundation established and all the information ready to
make it easier for those who wish to contribute.
King noted the fair lost a potential sizeable donation as there was not a foundation in place to assure
the potential donation would be used as intended.
Brown said it is also important for the future of the fair as there are many older buildings on the
fairgrounds and having foundation funds is likely the "only way" to be able to replace those
structures and remain financially sound.
For several years there has been discussion about replacing the aging swine and beef barns and show arena
with one new livestock exhibition building. Funds have been set aside previously toward that major
undertaking. While that was not factored into Thursday’s discussion, King verified on Friday roughly
$70,000 in that fund would be transferred once the foundation was established.
With the ongoing electrical rate hikes, the board also approved raising the electric charge for the food
vendors in their 2015 fair contracts. Currently, most vendors and concessionaires are charged $75 for
electric use during the fair. The small tent and grandstand vendors will remain at $75. Concessionaires
who use 110 volt electric will pay $110 in 2015. Those using 220 volts for their operation will pay
The board said an electrician will spot check the vendors, and if they are drawing extremely high amounts
of electricity they could be billed more for 2016.
Grounds chairman Steve Thomson updated the board on the ongoing improvements being made on the
fairgrounds including the new roof being installed on what has been called the "red roof"
barn, which will no longer sport that color.
The final regular board meeting prior to the fair will be held a week early on July 17 at 7:30 p.m.

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