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County fair fundraising effort looks to build on success

“Building on Tradition” is the fundraising campaign launched Feb. 1 to raise $1.5 million for a renovation project on the Union County Fairgrounds in Afton.

The renovation project includes a new 110-feet-by-240-feet building that will house the sheep and hogs and also have a restroom facility and show arena. The project also includes a 110-feet-by-160-feet building that will house the cattle.

Union County Fair Board Member Ben Adamson hopes the building project will be completed in time for next year’s fair.

“Our plans,” said Adamson, “are — as long as everything keeps going as planned — to sometime in the first few weeks in August start seeing some work being done in terms of disconnecting utilities and starting the demolition process of the existing buildings and dirtwork.

“We’re hoping,” Adamson continued, “that by the end of November or start of December, we’ll have both buildings up and totally enclosed. That way the contractors can work on the insides during the winter months. Hopefully we’ll have everything done by sometime in May.”

To date, the fair board has raised $1,479,310.

“But the biggest news,” explained Adamson, “is that last Wednesday, we received an Enhance Iowa Community Attraction and Tourism grant. And that grant is for $262,533. With other pledges that came in over these past two weeks, that leaves us roughly $66,000 left to go in order to satisfy the Dekko pledge.

“And obviously,” continued Adamson, “we’re still fundraising. We have to continue to fundraise to finish the project off. And one of the things we are going to do in the show arena, is we’re going to have a brick donation wall to recognize all the donors to the project. We’re going to be selling bricks to put onto that wall for $200 a piece — and we got room for a lot of bricks.”

Any individual interested in purchasing a donor-customized brick may contact any of the Union County Fair Board members or Adamson himself.

Adamson believes the success the fair board’s fundraising efforts have experienced thus far are emblematic of the community’s values.

“The community support that we’ve received,” said Adamson, “from the general public being positive about it to the businesses within Creston and Afton and Union County that have jumped on board and supported this, has been far better than I ever anticipated.

“It leads me to believe,” Adamson continued, “that the business owners of this town and community, and the people of this community, really believe in our 4-H and FFA programs, and what they do for Union County.”

Those interested in making a contribution to the Union County Fair and its “Building on Tradition” capital campaign may send donations to Union County Fair Association, PO Box 283, Creston, IA 50801.

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