GREENVILLE — The keyword (or number if you will) is 1339, said Matt Hughes of Cincinnati-based nonprofit consulting firm Fair Funding LLC on Wednesday. He was referring to the ultimate reasons behind the $2.5 million Great Darke County Fair Building Campaign – the kids.
Hughes had several stories to share from his experience working with area fairs. Each story emphasized how individuals pulled together in fair campaigns to improve what he calls the fabric of the community. However, it is the story of his first fair campaign that brings it all home. It was the very first call he made for a donation that he came to appreciate the reasons behind giving when a judge handed over $10,000.
The judge’s reason for the donation was simple, over 25 years serving on the bench, she never had a 4H or FFA kid in her courtroom.
“They wake up with something to do, they go to bed with something to do, and when they sleep they’re tired,” said Hughes. “I couldn’t have had a better call.”
The wholesomeness of the 4-H and FFA kids became the focal point of that first campaign and is the focus for the Darke County campaign. Individuals wanted to give towards the wholesomeness the kids represent.
“I’ve got 1,300 examples of that right here,” continued Hughes, who will host an informational booth outside the new swine barn starting today at the 163rd Great Darke County Fair. He will be available to provide information and answer questions on the campaign and continue to accept donations and gifts. “We’ve had wonderful gifts, [it’s] the passion that people have for these kids and the fair.”
The $2.5 million New Building Capital Campaign will see over 60,000 square feet of new buildings designed to meet the needs of those 1,339 junior fair kids.
The campaign is nearing its goal with a current standing of $2.25 mil.
All gifts for the campaign matter whether financial donations, sponsoring pens at the swine and goat barn, or even grain, corn, and beans. All are welcome and tax-friendly.
The campaign runs through this year’s fair and gifts can be made over five years. The Great Darke County Fair is handling the pledges of cash, stock, land, and other appreciated assets. Businesses, the agricultural community, individuals, and foundations have partnered with the Fair on this important project.
“It’s not about sponsors, it’s not about the Fair Board,” said Hughes. “It’s not about anything else but trying to meet the kids’ needs.”