Berrien County Youth Fair reports successful yearPublished 8:53pm Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The Berrien County Youth Fair Association reported a successful financial year with an operating income of $1,380,097 and expenditures of $1,249,409.
“The weather (at the fair) was certainly on our side again this year for attendance, and we couldn’t ask for better exhibitor participation and volunteers at this year’s fair,” board President Bruce Foster said. “It was the second successful year in a row.”
Fair attendance was the highest in 10 years, totaling 129,031 visitors, according to Lana Stover-Henderson, fair manager. There also were 2.428 youth exhibitors with more than 13,365 exhibits.
Fundraising for the proposed $17 million Expo Arena stand at $3.7 million in pledges, according to the director of development and marketing, Jack Strayer.
“I cannot overstate how challenging the economy has been in raising the funds needed to break ground,” Strayer said.
Three incumbents were re-elected to three-year terms on the Association’s board of directors, including Corey Burks of Berrien Springs, Jim Kesterke of Berrien Springs, Karen Klug of Eau Claire, Tiffany Rydwelski of Buchanan and Mark Young of Niles. New board members nominated and elected were Brian Smith of Niles and Mike Zeilke of Berrien Springs.
The Friend of the Fair awards were presented to Ron Strefling of Baroda, Dale Robson of Niles and Van’s Medical Equipment of Benton Harbor. This award is given annually to those individuals, families and/or businesses that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help with the many activities at the Youth Fair.
The Outstanding 20-Year-Old Exhibitor award winner was Caitlin Hampton of Eau Claire. Selection of this award is based on a point system covering Youth Fair participation and volunteering. Hampton will receive a trophy and $300 scholarship award provided by the D. R. Potts Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The second place 20 year-old exhibitor was Kasey Clear of Niles who received a $200 scholarship award.
The third place 20 year-old exhibitor was Erin Keith of Benton Harbor who received a $100 scholarship award.
The Board of Directors elected officers for the upcoming year: Bruce Foster of Berrien Center, president; Corey Burks of Berrien Springs, first vice president; Tiffany Rydwelski of Buchanan, second vice president; Karen Klug of Eau Claire, secretary; and Susan Coulston of Niles, treasurer.
Next summer’s Youth Fair dates are Aug. 13-18. The theme will be “The Berrien County Youth Fair: Where Magic Happens.”