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Adair Co. Fair Association/Jaycees Statement on changes

Opinions and representations are those of the Adair Co. Fair Association/Jaycees, presented here in its entirety without edits. Those wishing to comment should submit using the reply device with this article

Open letter from Adair County Fair Association/Jaycees
submitted by Jennifer Carter

The Adair County Fair Association/Adair County Jaycees would like to thank everyone who has supported us in all the years we have managed the Fair. Since 1987 when we took over the Fair from the VFW, we have strived to provide a quality Fair and improve upon it every year. We want to thank the businesses, vendors and individuals for your support. If you gave donations, sponsored events, participated in events or was a spectator we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have no idea how much it means to see you at the fair enjoying yourself and catching up with old friends. We plan to continue this way into the future.

The 2016 Fair was a melancholy event for us as we entered into our last year at the current location. We were sad to see the venue for the Adair County Fair change as we have had many years of memories at this location. Just like you we have attended the Fair since we were young enjoying the rides and events, laughing and talking with people we know and then later playing a part in carrying those events out as members of the Fair Association/Jaycees. But some things must come to an end I guess and the end for the Fair at 413 Fairground Street has passed; now on to a new venue and many new memories to make in the future.

For many years we were taunted with rumors that the grounds were being sold to Lindsey Wilson College (LWC) only to find out later that it hadn't happened and being reassured by the VFW of that time they would not sell to LWC that these grounds was for the Fair and always would be. Each year rumors would start again and again we were reassured, but in 2014 all that changed. We were asked to meet with the VFW for an informal meeting with only a few people required. Four of the Fair Association members met with Joe Hare and Ronnie Holt at the VFW building to learn our fate. They informed us they had been in discussions with LWC for them to buy the grounds. Many things were discussed that night among one that has come to light in Joe Hare's recent letter to the Editor.

In the July 28, 2016 edition of the Adair Progress and Community Voice along with Columbia Magazine the VFW and Commander Joe Hare wrote an open letter to the Editor and community. This letter listed some items that we would like to address. In their first statement they said that after the 2013 Fair a well-respected member of the Jaycees came to them with a warning about the financial stability of the organization. This well respected member's name was withheld from the article. The Fair Association /Jaycees would like to know who among us would go behind our back to make this statement.

First of all we have always paid our lease payment to the VFW even when it was raised from $3000 to $5000 per year so they would have more income. We have always paid our bills and like many individuals, organizations and businesses we have seen some lean times in which we have not been able to do things that we have wanted to, but our bills and obligations came first.

The next statement made by the VFW/Joe Hare was that in 1998 the VFW voted and presented to the Jaycees a proposal to sell the Fairgrounds for $80,000 with the VFW carrying the note at no interest with a minimum payment of $3000 annually until paid off. It was stated that this was rejected by the Jaycees. Many of our members that have been in the organization at the time this was supposedly brought to the club have no recollection of the Jaycees being made aware of this intention. If this would have been brought to our club we would have been more than happy to purchase the grounds for this amount especially being able to pay $3000 annually. This same statement was discussed at the first meeting we had with Joe Hare and Ronnie Holt. Joe Hare said he had found old minutes where they voted to sell us the grounds for $80,000 everyone at that meeting from the Fair Association/Jaycees was shocked at this information and if it had been presented to the club we would have jumped at the opportunity.

We have heard many negative comments from the public about the appearance of the grounds for several years. According to our lease with the VFW if we wanted to tear an old building down, we had to replace it with another structure. If we wanted to build something we had to get permission and then know if it was not moveable it would stay with the grounds. It was a constant struggle to have the desire to improve upon the grounds when we were plagued with rumors that the grounds were always being sold.

The Fair Association /Jaycees are now undertaking the task of finding suitable grounds to hold a Fair, our other events and provide parking. We have an agreement with LWC to be able to relocate some of the infrastructure from the current grounds to a new location. We are very thankful for this agreement, but this relocation will be very costly.

We would like to thank the Adair Progress and Hancock Tire for their pledge to donate to the future of the Fair. We plan to secure any grants or low interest loans we can to establish a new location for the Fair and are making plans for new things to come. If anyone else would like to contribute in any way, they can contact any Fair Association member/Jaycee. Currently we have a building fund established at Bank of Columbia. We meet the first and third Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. currently at the Pavilion at the Fairgrounds. You can contact Jennifer Carter at 270-634-1649, Fay Davidson at 270-634-0040, Amanda Davis at 270-250-1327 or any other Fair Association member.

Adair County Fair Association/Jaycees

This story was posted on 2016-09-06 17:30:43
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