4-H and Fair groups near $200K building goal

Wyoming couple donates $50,000 in memory of a parent toward project

Shown from left to right: Marjie Loudenburg, Shelly Anderson, Tami Rouse and Joni Kinsella. Fair President Jim Kinsella could not attend.

By Jim Nowlan

WYOMING – Friends of Stark County 4H and the Stark County Junior Fair announced this past week that they are over half way to their goal of raising $200,000 to construct a new building at the Wyoming fairgrounds, which will markedly enrich the potential for year-round community and fair-related activities.

Friends of Stark County 4-H President Tami Rouse commended the work of Robyn Gentle and Melody Anderson in their success at winning grants thus far from WalMart, River Valley, Land of Lakes, FMC, Pioneer Seed, and Martin-Sullivan John Deere.

“Grant-writing is time-consuming, hard work that takes real skill,” said Rouse. We really appreciate every member of our board for their dedication and hard work in order to achieve our goal.

Joni Kinsella also reported that a Wyoming couple had recently donated $50,000 anonymously in memory of a parent who had been active in 4-H.
“We encourage others to consider gifts to our project in honor or memory of loved ones,” added Joni, Vice President of the Friends of Stark County 4-H.

In addition, the Stark County Farm Bureau, now celebrating its 100th anniversary, recently announced a $10,000 dollar-for-dollar matching grant in support of the 4-H and Fair building.

If interested in donating to the building project, contact any of the directors mentioned just below or send a check to Friends of Stark County 4-H Association, NFP at 104 S. 7th, Wyoming 61491. The group is a 501-c-3 tax deductible organization.

“We are pleased that so many people are stepping up to make this project a reality,” said Marjie Loudenburg, another longtime leader of 4-H and the Fair. “For example, we raised $6,000 this past year at the fair, where we auctioned the winner of the pie baking contest who was Peg Gray who baked a peach pie and a board of local gift certificates repeatedly, for a total of $6,000, to R&K, Justin Gillespie and the State Bank of Toulon.”

The new building, according to Rouse, will only be started when the $200,000 has been raised, will house a larger concession stand with 12-foot overhang for picnic tables, ADA compliant restrooms, an educational center with computers, office and exhibit space, among other elements. (See sketch of the building at left.)

“The building will provide all sorts of attractive opportunities for community groups throughout the year,” said Shelly Allen, treasurer of the Fair board. We are very excited to have both boards working together on this joint project explained Rouse.

Marjie explained that the county 4-H folks and the Fair Association work hand-in-hand.

“At our annual 4-H fair in Wyoming, youngsters who are not in 4-H can exhibit their skills and hand-crafted items via the Stark County Junior Fair, as it is called. Both 4-H and the Fair offer prizes in scores of categories.”
The 2018 fair was great fun and had many activities for young and old. The Wyoming Chamber of Commerce held its annual corn boil at the fairgrounds. There was a big car show and machinery exhibit. Contests for youngsters included rocket launching, marksmanship and archery, pie baking, watermelon eating, among many activities. The Barnyard Olympics has grown year after year and is great family fun.

“We want to recognize and thank a number of Fair directors who retired this past year,” said Tami Rouse. These individuals have dedicated many years to the success of this fair and for our youth. She listed Phil St John, Bebe Groter, Alice Webster, Al Curry, Boad Maher, Troy and Angie Wall, Tim Montooth and Melody Anderson.

For 2019, Fair officers are Jim Kinsella, President; Aaron Down, Vice President; Shelly Allen, Treasurer; and Barbie Allen, Secretary. Michelle Gillespie is the new Fair manager as well as a director, Angie Wall is the Asst. Fair Manager, joined by directors Marjie Loudenburg, Joe Orwig, Jay Iliff, and Tami Rouse.

Friends of Stark County 4-H officers and directors are Tami Rouse, President; Marjie Loudenburg, Secretary; Joni Kinsella, Vice President and Melody Anderson, Treasurer.

The Friends directors are Robyn Gentle, Joe Orwig, Mike Cox, Justin Gillespie, Mark Rumbold, Jodee Werkheiser and Ryan Larson.
Several leaders of the Stark County 4-H and Junior Fair organizations gathered recently in Wyoming to make plans for the coming year.

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