Feb 17, 2015

Sorority and crafters donate to new fair building

One of the Park County Fairgrounds’ longest-standing users has stepped up to help furnish the fairgrounds’ new building.

Members of Laureate Rho — the Powell chapter of the sorority Beta Sigma Phi — presented the fair board with a pair of checks totaling $1,700 on Tuesday night.

Park County Fair Director Jennifer Lohrenz beckons fair board members into the frame to pose for a photo with members of Laureate Rho, the Powell chapter of sorority Beta Sigma Phi. Shown (from left) are fair board members Robby Newkirk, Steve Martin and Mike Demoney, Laureate Rho members Gladys Schwab and Mary Wenzel and fair board members Kimberly Barhaug and Linda Nielsen (obscured).
The sorority has used the fairgrounds for decades to host its annual Kappa Kraft Fair. In recognition of the facilities’ importance to the group and the community, Laureate Rho collected donations at November’s craft fair for the multi-use building now under construction.

Outside of the fair itself, the Kappa Kraft Fair is the largest public event held on the grounds each year. It brings in vendors from around the region and somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 attendees.

At November’s fair, craft vendors and customers chipped in $600 and Laureate Rho itself added another $1,100; sorority members expressed appreciation for all the help provided by fairgrounds staff over some 35 years.

Laureate Rho’s Ardyce Busboom said the group hopes the money will provide a good start toward new tables, chairs and display cases.

“We look forward to the completion of this new building,” Busboom told the board, adding that, “Hopefully there are other organizations that will jump right in and get some of the needed amenities for this facility.”

County commissioners had hoped the fair board would raise $500,000 in private funding for the $3.1 million building, but progress has been slow.

At Tuesday’s fair meeting, board members discussed a couple fundraising ideas, such as running a pool tournament and raffling off a dinner with a knight from the “Knights of Valour” jousting troupe when they perform at the 2015 Fair. Board members also have talked about sending out letters to potential donors.

The new multi-use facility is scheduled to be completed this summer.

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