Fair association wins Chamber award

Pictured are 2013-14 fair board members, front row, from left, William Mueller, Lyle Wessel, George Obernagel, Don Schrader, Ron Mueller, Gary Baum and Richard Woodcock; back row: Roger Taake, Brad Nobbe, Duane Hergenroeder, Ron Niebruegge, Dorothy Schilling, Gene Stumpf, Janis Rau, Tom Garleb, Lisa Schwarze, Glen Mueller and Allen Stumpf. Mike Klein was not available for the photo. (Kermit Constantine photo)

The Waterloo Chamber of Commerce announced this year’s Community Service Award Recipient: the Monroe County Fair Association.

The award is presented annually to a person or organization that has a positive effect in community service through business, civic or charitable affiliations and is dedicated to providing excellent service.

The chamber issued a statement about their choice of the fair association, saying the group has held the successful annual summer event for 66 years and provided opportunities for youth and many other individuals and groups.

“The county fair has been an integral part of county life and has helped introduce ‘city kids’ to the importance of rural life,” one of the nomination forms stated.

Monroe County Fair Association president Don Schrader said the group is honored to be selected for this honor.

“I don’t think any of our officers, directors, or the hundreds of volunteers are thinking about an award when they give their time to the fair,” he said. “They just want to do something for the community, and especially for the youth, in putting together a good, clean county fair.”

Schrader said the group works year-round to keep the fairgrounds a place the community can be proud of.

“It’s a pat on the back to the fair board and the countless volunteers that our efforts are noticed by the community,” he said. “We thank the Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. They are a great organization themselves.”

Schrader said the group is already hard at work on this summer’s fair, and they are looking forward to the chance for the community to come together with family and friends at the annual summer event.

Fair association member George Obernagel said the award means a lot to the organization because it is selected by nominations from individuals and businesses in the community.

He said this year, many improvements are coming to the fair, including new restrooms, lighting, remodeling the kitchen and replacing some of the doors.

“For myself and the fair association, it is all a team effort to work with people and organizations to provide services for the future of our community,” he said.

Ron Mueller, another longtime fair association member, said the Monroe County Fair is always the highlight of his summer.

“People from all over the county work hard together to make it an event that not only showcases agriculture, but gives kids a great learning experience showing their 4-H and FFA projects,” he said. “It also gives our local businesses a chance to interface our community by exhibiting and advertising at the fair.”

To Mueller, the Chamber award is something special.

“This award is really for all of the volunteers that come together to make our fair what it is,” he said.

The Monroe County Fair Association will receive its award during the Chamber’s Annual Social, a Mardi Gras theme this year, taking place Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Black Swan Restaurant at Mystic Oak Golf Course in Waterloo. The public is invited to attend.

Call the Chamber office at 939-5300 to reserve tickets.

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