Winter Newsletter: 1999, 2009 and 2019

February 7, 2019
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What’s happening at the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation?  

Check out the Winter 2019 Newsletter. This edition features a little bit of history, highlighting special donations from two art-inspired Fair lovers. Be sure to mark your calendar with dates for the Halfway to the Fair Happy Hour Fundraiser (TOMORROW), Corndog Kickoff Benefit Auction (July 13) and the Iowa State Fair (August 8-18). 

The newsletter is also filled with the names of our loyal supporters since the very beginning. These donors have given to the Foundation with annual contributions, gifts toward the endowment, and even anonymous donations through the Corndog Tax Checkoff. It is because of contributions from businesses and individuals that we’ve been able to help the Iowa State Fairgrounds grow and develop as the state’s premier gathering place. 

What was happening 10 years ago?

“Change is inevitable, so it is our job to ensure that things continue to change for the better.” The change up for discussion? The renovations to the Elwell Family Food Center and early planning for the Jacobson Exhibition Center.

This newsletter included a recap of the cold temperatures of the previous November’s Fairgrounds 5K- the event raised $8000. The Foundation was planning ahead for the Corndog Kickoff and hosting a booth at the Iowa Beef Expo. (Things I’m currently working on right now!)

James Kopel was featured in the Donor Profile. James was an original member of the 1854 Society and continues to renew his membership to this day. James has traveled to all 50 states visiting fairs across the country.  He still believes the Iowa State Fair is the best!

What was happening 20 years ago?

Plans were in the works to update the Varied Industries Building. With William Knapp’s initial donation and the Iowa Legislature’s support – the building would be enclosed and reconstructed to transform into one of the largest exhibition halls in the Midwest.

“Renovate to Keep it Great!” was the theme used to promote the Corndog Checkoff program. This avenue to donate to the Blue Ribbon Foundation is still available today through your Iowa taxes. More information about the Corndog Checkoff is available on our website. (A website that was is the early stages 20 years ago!)

Bill and Judy Campfield were highlighted in the donor profile section of the newsletter. The Campfield’s both volunteered with the Foundation selling merchandise during the Fair. Bill also helped develop the Iowa State Fair History Book.


Many things have changed over the years but one thing remains the same. The Blue Ribbon Foundation helps thousands of Iowa State Fair fans like you show their support through giving programs, membership programs and fundraising events. Our organization will continue to raise funds to preserve and improve the Iowa State Fairgrounds for the next 10 and 20 years!