The Nevada County Fairgrounds has been selected as the recipient of the Western Fairs Association’s (WFA) prestigious Merrill Award for its Community Involvement Day. WFA made the announcement in Reno on Wednesday at its annual convention, where more than 1,000 Fair CEOs, directors, staff, delegates and Fair-related professionals from throughout the Western United States attend to celebrate the industry and its accomplishments in 2016.
The Merrill Award, named in honor of WFA founder Louis Merrill, is the highest honor a Fairgrounds can receive, and is given to a program that demonstrates innovation, vision, and excellence.
“To receive this award is truly an honor for the Fairgrounds, the community, and the organizations who shared the passion and goal of Community Involvement Day,” said Rea Callender, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “We’re proud of this community program, and we’re so pleased that the industry recognized its impact and importance. Special recognition goes to Robin Hauck, Deputy Manager at the Fairgrounds, for her vision of this program.”
After years of incorporating community giving into the Fair lineup, the Nevada County Fairgrounds decided to further showcase community nonprofit organizations by providing a separate Community Involvement Day. By creating a special donation opportunity, a week prior to the Fair, the Fairgrounds connected the community directly with local nonprofits. The first Community Involvement Day was held in 2014 as a day to donate items to nonprofit organizations, while also receiving discounted admission tickets to the Fair. The Food Bank of Nevada County, Foothill Lions, Nevada County 2-1-1, NEO Youth Center, BloodSource, Story Club, and the Domestic Violence Coalition are among the charities who have participated in Community Involvement Day.
Through this program, 295 new blood donors have been registered, 254 pints of life saving blood have been collected, more than 1,700 books have been donated, 6,000 pounds of food have been donated to feed those in need, school supplies have been gathered for more than 100 families, and 1,198 glasses and 20 hearing aids have been donated to Foothill Lions.
In addition to receiving the Merrill Award, the Nevada County Fairgrounds received 15 WFA Achievement Awards, which recognize the best practices of Fairs in a variety of categories. The Nevada County Fairgrounds received recognition for its work in Ag-Sperience, digital advertising, social media, the Fairgrounds Foundation Speaker Series, Califia Café, and Treat Street shade.
The 2017 Nevada County Fair, “Sea you at the Fair,” is August 9 – 13; and the 2017 Community Involvement Day will be held on July 31 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.