For more than 35 years, members of the Center Grove Optimist Club have endured the heat of the fair while serving their signature beaver tails.
“It’s a chance to help out and support youth programs,” volunteer Bobby Deckard said. “I bring my family out here and it’s a fun way to get them involved in giving back, too.”
The Center Grove Optimist Club sells between $10,000 and $15,000 worth of the sweet pastries at the fair each year. All the proceeds go to organizations that help the youth of Johnson County.
The group is one of many organizations who take advantage of the fair by setting up a booth as a fundraiser.
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For local organizations, selling everything from lemon shakeups to corn on the cob allows them to not only raise money for their cause, but also to raise awareness of who they are and what they do.
But the money is a big help. Local groups raise anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 each year at the fair, allowing them to help the community in ways they couldn’t otherwise.
Dottie Flack has sold corn at the Johnson County fair for 10 years on behalf of the Franklin Lion’s Club.
“I do it to help our community, our state and our world,” Flack said.
The Franklin Lion’s Club does a wide range of work throughout the community, from providing scholarships to high school students as they head to college to making Christmas food baskets for those in need. Flack is proud of the work they do, and every dollar they make truly makes a difference, she said.
“Wherever there is a need, we are there to help, no questions asked,” Flack said. “Without fundraisers like the one out at the fair, we wouldn’t be able to do all we do.”
Last year, the Franklin Lion’s Club made $20,000 in Johnson County by fundraising at different fairs and festivals.
Gateway Services helps those in Johnson County and surrounding areas who have disabilities. It offers programs year-round, including summer camps for those with special needs, to providing public transit through its Access Johnson County program.
Joey Galloway was a first time volunteer who spent Thursday evening making lemon shakeups.
“It’s for a good cause and the money we make helps those who really need it,” Galloway said. “It’s a good feeling knowing I’m helping someone.”
In order to ensure Gateway makes as much of a profit as possible, different local businesses sponsor their booth by purchasing items needed to make the shakeups, including the cups, lids and straws.
Saturday at the fair:
8:30 a.m. — Baby Contest (Indoor Arena). (Contestants must be registered before 9 p.m. July 19 at Fair Office)
11:30 a.m. — 4-H & Open Class exhibits open to the public
1-3 p.m. — Premium money ready for 4-H Exhibitors (pick up voucher from 4-H office in Scott Hall)
1-1:30 p.m. — Free Stage: die Fledermaushen Tanzgruppe (German dancers)
1-5 p.m. — Poor Jack Amusements Kiddies Day on the Midway, unlimited bracelet $15
2 p.m. — 4-H Llama Show (Indoor Arena) following the Baby Contest
4-5:30 p.m. — Free Stage: Indianapolis Liederkranz (German brass band)
5-8 p.m. — Cooking demonstrations (Farm Bureau Building)
5:30-6:30 p.m. — Free Stage: Gymnastics Etc.
6 p.m. — 4-H Awards program (Indoor Arena)
6-11 p.m. — Poor Jack Amusements Weekend Madness on the Midway, unlimited ride bracelet $22 (weather permitting)
6:30-7:30 p.m. — Free Stage: Indianapolis Liederkranz (German brass band)
6:30-10 p.m. — Gospel music in “A” Tent (north of Scott Hall)
7 p.m. — Horseshoe pitching (west of Fair Office)
7 p.m. — Demolition Derby (Grandstands); admission: $10/adults, $5/kids 12 & under
7 p.m. — Cash drawing at the day sponsor booth (Herring Hall entrance); must be present to win
8-10 p.m. — Free Stage: Jaxson Deno
9 p.m. — Scott, Magill and Fitzpatrick Halls close
Dark — Fireworks display, shooting off from the northwest corner of Fairgrounds; sponsored by Mallow Run Winery