Booster club to help 4-H, fair

Routt County Fair Board decides Thursday to form funding group

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— Routt County's 4-H supporters hope the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club model works for them.

The Routt County Fair Board decided at its meeting Thursday night to form a similar booster club to raise money for 4-H and the fairgrounds in Hayden. Parents, 4-H alumni and community members are invited to join Friends of 4-H and the Fair, Fair Board Member Don Hayes said.

The board had discussed forming a nonprofit arm, the Fair Association, but legal issues swamped the plan, board President Jeannie Jo Logan said.

"It just became more and more apparent the more we dove into this that it was going to be hard," Logan said.

Part of the problem is language, she said. The Fair Board is referred to as the Fair Association in several documents. Forming a new group was much simpler than untangling the wording.

"It's going to have to be separate, and that's, I think, why so much of the confusion came is we were actually directed by the county commission and (County Manager) Tom Sullivan to form this group," Logan said. "And, at the time, I called it the Fair Association, not really realizing we were already the Fair Association according to our articles of incorporation."

The Routt County Board of Commissioners has been talking to the Fair Board about the cost of the fairgrounds. The panel still plans to subsidize the operation of the grounds but has asked the board to find ways to make money. New usage fees, including some for 4-H members, went into effect this month.

Friends of 4-H and the Fair will be separate from the Fair Board. Officers won't serve on both, Hayes said, to prevent conflicts of interest. An organizational meeting will be held in conjunction with the 4-H leaders meeting March 4 in Oak Creek.

Anyone interested in helping is invited.

"We can get more people involved, turn it into a better deal," Hayes said. "We'd really like to go in the way of the (Winter) Sports Club. It's a great program. : If we could get any kind of deal like that going, it would be great."

The club's first event will be the Bunkhouse Bull Session, a cowboy poetry, song and art event that Hayes is planning for April 17 at the fairgrounds.

Logan is spearheading the organization of the booster group. People who want to help can call her at 970-638-4444.

"First and foremost is the kids and making sure they are capable of doing everything they've intended to do," Logan said.

Also at Thursday's meeting, Erin Babcock was named to the Hayden seat on the Fair Board.

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