September is usually a whirlwind of clean up and highlighting our favorite Iowa State Fair moments. Like all of 2020, this September looks different. The Blue Ribbon Foundation staff has stayed busy this summer but not with our normal projects.
The Iowa State Fair hosted the Taste of the Fair food events and the Special Edition Livestock Show in July and August. As part of the State Fair team, the Blue Ribbon Foundation staff pulled weeds, worked gates, baked cookies and did whatever else was needed to help make those events happen. A few other highlights from our summer:
Engraved Bricks: Staff placed 150 engraved bricks across the Fairgrounds. Each brick celebrates a special family memory or honors a loved one. The inscriptions are unique and creative. Staff will place more engraved bricks this fall. The deadline to have your brick placed this fall is September 15. You can give a donation for an engraved brick online.
Merchandise: During the Iowa State Fair, the Blue Ribbon Foundation sells official Iowa State Fair souvenirs at five different booths across the Fairgrounds. This year, we sold everything online. We’ve been busy organizing merchandise orders, packaging items, and creating shipping labels. More than 850 orders have been shipped since August 1. We still have about 200 orders left to ship. (The new chocolate chip cookie bucket ornaments are delayed. We should have them in two weeks.) You can still purchase merchandise. Check out the online State Fair Store.
“No Fair – I Do Care” Benefit Auction: Without the Corndog Kickoff, staff planned the first virtual benefit auction. Thank you to the donors that gave items for the auction and to the volunteers that helped get everything organized. The Foundation was overwhelmed with the amount of support. The auction raised $65,560 for Fairgrounds renovations. Whether you won a package or not, your participation and support made a difference. Thank you!
Big Challenges – Bigger Vision Fundraising Campaign: Improvement projects continued throughout the summer. The largest project - the renovation of the 4-H Building is complete and will be used this weekend. Renovations of the buildings allow them to be used year round. More improvement projects will continue this fall and into next year. We are asking for your support in our “Big Challenges – Bigger Vision” campaign. Please join us in continuing to improve the Iowa State Fairgrounds for the next generation.
The Blue Ribbon Foundation will continue working hard on the 2021 Iowa State Fair, August 12-22 and we can’t wait until we can all be together again.