SIDNEY — The Shelby County Fairgrounds Improvement Campaign continues to solicit and accept pledges and donations that will support the construction of a new grandstand and fund other needed projects.
Campaign organizer Fair Funding, of Cincinnati, will have a booth where fair-goers can make donations. At press time, more than 60 pledges from companies, individuals and the State of Ohio totaled $458,000. The figure includes gifts from every member of the Shelby County Agricultural Society board. There are also an additional 28 companies and individuals whose pending support is estimated at more than $300,000.
As part of the campaign there are certain naming opportunities available. For instance, the main street that runs past the fair office to the track will be named Cargill Way and the track will be named Cargill Raceway, thanks to donations by the Sidney Cargill plant. There will also be an Alvetro Avenue and several other company and individually named streets.
“There are plenty of streets still available for naming opportunities,” said Fair Funding’s Steve Eddingfield.
The goal of the campaign was $1.5 million. In January when the campaign was announced, it was said that the $1.5 million sum would pay for a 2,000-seat stadium with a roof, including grounds preparation, electrical wiring within the grandstand and lights around the track, repay the county for its loan of $78,000 for fundraising consultants’ fees and begin some additional, smaller improvement projects on the fairgrounds.
Fair Secretary Jerry Schaffner had said in January that the goal could could be scaled back if the initial goal seemed unachievable. In March, he said that a simpler installation — a grandstand with a roof — would cost about $600,000-$800,000.
“As everyone knows, the fairgrounds are the face of the community to thousands of people that come to the fair each year from other areas,” Eddingfield said. “As it continues to be updated and improved, it will attract more events which will directly benefit local businesses and the county overall.”