The Central Iowa Fair received several grants and gifts in 2013 to use towards capital improvement and maintenance projects at the nearly 50 year-old facility located on East Olive Street in Marshalltown. Fundraising is ongoing for the largest projects, but some of the smaller projects have already been completed.
"The executive board is committed to improving and updating the facility" said Central Iowa Fair President Tyler Wollam. "It is such a large facility, and there are many projects that need to be addressed. We have prioritized the immediate needs of the facility and are seeking out a number of grants and fundraising opportunities to get us to where we need to be. We are off to a very good start."
The Central Iowa Fairgrounds is Marshalltown's largest public use facility and one of Marshall County's largest tourism destinations. Events held at the Central Iowa Fairgrounds provide a significant boost to the tourism revenue that is generated within Marshalltown with nearly 150,000 people visiting the facility each year.
The Central Iowa Fair received a grant in the amount of $50,000 from the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation toward the renovation of the Marshalltown Convention and Visitor's Bureau Activity Building. There were also grants received from the Union Pacific Foundation in the amount of $5,000 and from the Prairie Meadows Foundation in the amount of $2,500. The total cost for the first phase of the Activity Building renovation is $115,000. The project is expected to begin in 2014.
The Central Iowa Fair also received a grant from the Iowa Grocery Industry Association through the "Build With Bags" program in the amount of $2,000.
The primary goal of the "Build With Bags" program is to promote the reduction of use of plastic bags while increasing recycling efforts as well as promoting the purchase of recycled plastic products. With this grant, the Central Iowa Fair purchased five picnic tables made from recycled plastic from Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls. Each table contains 29,000 recycled plastic grocery bags.
"This is a great program designed to increase recycling efforts across our state," Wollam said. "We are extremely fortunate to be a grant recipient and look forward to promoting recycling efforts at our facility."
The Central Iowa Fair also received a generous donation from Al Hoop in 2013 in memory of his wife, Donna. The money was donated to purchase gravel to help improve the roads at the Central Iowa Fairgrounds.
If you are interested in contributing to the fundraising efforts to improve the fairgrounds, you can contact the fair office for more information at 641-753-3671.