Fair Board in midst of fundraiser

By Joseph Slacian

The Wabash County Fair Board, in conjunction with Beacon Credit Union, is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to raise money to refurbish the exhibition hall, formerly known as the girls’ building.

Beacon has created a matching grant to match, dollar for dollar up to $60,000, funds donated to the fair board.

“We’re going to completely redo this building,” Fair Board President Dean White told The Paper of Wabash County during an interview in the exhibition hall. “We’re going to put all new ceilings in. We’re going to put a kitchenette in back there in that (northwest) corner.”

A wall with pass-through windows on the west side of the building will be removed, opening up the area.

“We’re going to build the sidewalls out and fill it in with insulation, then drywall it,” White continued. “We’re going to put air conditioning and put new furnaces in. We’re going to level the floor and have it completely redone.”

A storage area will be built in the southeast portion of the building.

“We’re going to redo the restrooms,” White said. “That will all be drywalled. The floor will be taken care of in there, too.”

Once complete, the building will be renamed in honor of Bruce Ingraham, former Beacon Credit Union president and a longtime member of the fair board.

The building was built in 1950. There was a fire in the early 1970s and the building had some refurbishing because of fire damage.

“About the only thing we’ve done since then, is the Wabash County Extension Club gave us money and we put all new windows in,” White said. “We’re just wanting to refurbish it, make it more accessible to people. Put air conditioning in. The furnaces are old.”

Jason Randall has been hired to do the work. However, the fair board will help with demolition whenever possible to cut down on costs.

“He’s going to come in here and tell us what we can do, like tear the ceilings down to save money,” White said. “Maybe start tearing that wall down to save money.

“Everybody’s good at demolition. It’s putting it back together …”

Work is expected to begin sometime after Nov. 1.

The board, with Beacon’s match, is at about $95,000 raised so far.

Anyone interested in contributing may do so through Nov. 1 at: Wabash County Fair Association Inc., PO Box 23, Wabash, IN 46992.

Most of the money the fair board generates comes during the week of the Wabash County 4-H Fair, White noted.

“We don’t reach out to the community every year for nothing, really,” he said. “When we built the multi-purpose building, we went out and generated about all the money to put it up. Then we might not do something like that for three, four, five years.
“On bigger projects, we reach out to the community for help.”

The fair board receives no tax money, he noted.

“We’re very unique that way,” he said. “I’m guessing there’s less than five fairs in the whole state like that.”

Posted on 2018 Aug 14