Grinnell Mutual awards $7,500 in grants to county fairgrounds

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Six fairground improvement projects will receive a total of $7,500 in grants through Grinnell Mutual’s Fairground Facelift initiative. The annual promotion gives county fairgrounds in Grinnell Mutual’s writing territory a chance to rally their communities and raise money to make improvements.

"We understand the importance of local fairgrounds in communities. Fairgrounds provide a place for community members to interact and gather with each other," said Grinnell Mutual Director of Advertising and Community Relations Barb Baker. “

Six fairground improvement projects will receive a total of $7,500 in grants through Grinnell Mutual’s Fairground Facelift initiative. The annual promotion gives county fairgrounds in Grinnell Mutual’s writing territory a chance to rally their communities and raise money to make improvements.

Grinnell Mutual received more than 50 fairground project submissions from 11 states. Fairground supporters then cast nearly 13,000 votes for their favorite projects among the 11 finalists. The six winning recipients shared a total of $7,500 worth of grants and were chosen based on the number of votes received.

"We understand the importance of local fairgrounds in communities. Fairgrounds provide a place for community members to interact and gather with each other," said Grinnell Mutual Director of Advertising and Community Relations Barb Baker. “The Fairground Facelift grant is Grinnell Mutual's way to help local fairgrounds improve and maintain current facilities."

Davis County Fairgrounds in Bloomfield, Iowa, will receive a $3,000 grant to move their current ice cream stand into a larger building in the fairgrounds through Grinnell Mutual’s Fairground Facelift initiative.

The Davis County Fairground has been working to raise funds to move the popular stand to a larger building.

“Our local 4-H clubs work the ice cream stand during the fair, and the fair board serves ice cream during the music festival in the fall,” said Lexis Frymoyer, fair board secretary. “We are so excited to be able to move this into a bigger building! We want to thank Grinnell Mutual for offering this grant opportunity and the wonderful Davis County community for sticking together and voting daily!”

Barlow Independent Fair of Barlow, Ohio, will receive a $1,500 grant through Grinnell Mutual’s Fairground Facelift initiative to renovate the historic roundhouse by installing new floors and siding and an updated electrical system.

Fair board members Blake and Abby Campbell saw the opportunity to improve a great piece of Barlow Independent Fair history and decided to apply.

“We would like to thank Grinnell Mutual for providing the grant and we would also like to thank our amazing community supporters who voted for the Barlow Independent Fair!” said Abby, fair secretary. “We have an amazing community. We truly are one big fair family. Thank you to all who support the Barlow Independent Fair and its future!”

Murray County Fairgrounds in Slayton, Minn., will receive a $1,500 grant through Grinnell Mutual’s Fairground Facelift initiative to enhance their creative arts building.

The building is over 45 years old and in need of many updates. It is used by 4-H members and open-class exhibitors. In 2019, there were nearly 1,800 open-class entries alone.

“The Murray County fair is the best free fair in Southwest Minnesota. We have such a huge turnout with 4-H members and open-class exhibits,” said Kim Konkol, Murray County Fair Board secretary. “We plan to redo the roof and install new lighting in the creative arts building to enhance the viewing pleasure for all the fairgoers.

“We have such great support from near and far,” said Konkol. “A huge thanks to everyone that voted for Murray County and a huge thank you to Carisa Clarke, Minnwest Insurance Agent. If not for her, we would not have known about the opportunity to apply for a Fairground Facelift grant. Thanks to Grinnell Mutual for believing in the local fairs.”

Cedar County Fairgrounds in Hartington, Neb., will receive a $500 from Grinnell Mutual’s Fairground Facelift initiative to repair flood damage.

A barn was damaged after a severe flood in March 2019. The grant will be used for the finishing touches such as gates, fences, and bleachers.

For Kristi Bruning, a former 4-H member and daughter of a fair board member, the Cedar County Fairgrounds are near and dear to her heart. “Growing up, the fairgrounds and livestock shows brought so many friends together and formed so many lasting friendships,” said Bruning. “My parents are very involved in the Ag Society, Extension office, and 4-H program. My siblings and I have our families involved in those same programs.

“I would like to thank all the voters who helped us finish as a Fairground Facelift honorable mention. I would also like to thank Grinnell Mutual for re-investing in our communities. This project will last for many future generations. It means so much!”

Meigs County Fair in Pomeroy, Ohio, will receive a $500 grant from Grinnell Mutual’s Fairground Facelift initiative to build a new horse announcer stand that will replicate the original stand built it 1852. “Receiving the $500 grant will help us to continue to restore our fairgrounds to the 1850 design and provide a safe vantage point for the harness racing judge. We have two days of harness racing each year and the judge must see the entire 1/2-mile track,” said Debbie Watson, Meigs County Fair secretary and staff member.

“We would like to thank Grinnell Mutual first, of course, but also residents of Meigs County for their continued support of our small county fair. Meigs County is an awesome place to live!”

Turner County Fair in Parker, S.D., will receive a $500 grant to improve its outdoor picnic area.

“The Fairground Facelift grant will help reduce trip hazards, making it easier for our guests of all abilities to get from one place to the other safely,” said Darcy Andersen, Fair Board president. “We will also divert water flow from the area so it doesn’t turn into a muddy mess and create a slip hazard as well. We'd like to thank Grinnell Mutual for this opportunity and generous gift, Jensen Insurance for passing along the details, our fair staff and board, and all our wonderful volunteers and fairgoers who dutifully showed their support for South Dakota's oldest county fair by voting daily. Thank you again!”

About Grinnell Mutual
Grinnell Mutual, in business since 1909, is the 108th-largest property-casualty insurance company in the United States and the largest primary reinsurer of farm mutual companies in North America. Its products are available in 17 states.

For more information please contact:

Alivia Gerstein
Marketing and Customer Experience co-op
Alivia.gerstein@grinnellmutual.com
515-290-4880

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