Fish fry fundraiser will help raise money for premiums

Published 8:24 am Thursday, July 16, 2009

BERRIEN SPRINGS – In an effort to raise premium money for youth fair exhibitors, the Berrien County Youth Fair Board of Directors is holding a fish fry fundraiser.
This all-you-can-eat event will take place on the fairgrounds in the horticulture building on Friday, July 24, from 5 to 8 p.m.
The fair announced last month that the Michigan Department of Agriculture eliminated the fair’s annual premium grant.
With the latest budget cut by Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s office and the state Legislature, grants for premiums to county fairs have been eliminated for 2009 and 2010.
For the Berrien County Youth Fair, this will result in a more than $31,000 loss of funds for each of the two years.
These state monies were used specifically to fund what the BCYF pays out in premiums to its youth exhibitors each year. Exhibitors receive small cash premiums for the awards that they receive on their exhibits, which range on average from $.25 up to $8 per class. In 2008, the fair paid out more than $42,000 in premiums to 2,400 youth exhibitors. The state grant funded almost 75 percent of this payout.
BCYF board member Mark Young of Niles, is chairing the event.
Niles community member Barry Amberg is donating his time and efforts to cook the fish and help organize the event.
Young said, “In light of the recent budget cuts from the state of Michigan, Barry approached me about having a benefit fish fry in an effort to raise some of the premium dollars for the youth of Berrien County.
“I invite anyone who likes a good fish dinner to come to the fairgrounds on July 24 and help support the youth of Berrien County.”
Tickets cost $10 per person and can be purchased in advance at the fair office, from fair board members or at the door on the day of the event.
The dinner includes fish, slaw, beans, dessert and a drink.
The fair welcomes monetary and supply donations for the fish fry. To reach the fair office, call (269) 473-4251 or e-mail