The Build the Barn project launched several fundraising activities throughout the year, with the goal of raising enough funds to construct an $800,000 barn to replace the currently deteriorating one that stands at the fair grounds. The group has to raise $400,000 to start the work. Chairperson over the project, Carol Clemons said so far the group has earned about $15,000.
Clemons said the equine advisors and 4-h members appreciated the donations they’ve received.
“Despite today's economy, we feel we are making progress and will continue to have fundraisers and send letters out to businesses for donations. Any donated amount is appreciated and adds up,” Clemons said.
Several fundraisers are still being planned for the 2019 Huron County Fair as well to continue the efforts.
A donated barn will be stationed at the west side of the horse arena filled with silent auction items donated by several groups and companies. There also will be a full basket of homemade cards donated by the Tuesday Morning Stamping Group in Willard, available for sale, as well as the Locked Up game. The game allows fair-goers to bail members and supporters out of the “jail.”Clemons said the group will also have a Fill 'Er Up station — a barrel the group hopes to fill with donations by end of fair week.
All of the proceeds from the events and activities will go to the Build the Barn project.
“The new barn is badly needed and will have separate isles for the public to view the horses instead of ... mixing in with the busy 4-Hers and moving horses,” Clemons said, adding this set-up makes the barns safer as well.
“It’s definitely a need. Some of the boards are rotting, some areas are leaking. It’s just deteriorating. Within a couple years it’ll be (unusable).”
She said the 4-H members will be able to use the barn for this fair and it should be “fine for another couple years.” After that, Clemons said she’s unsure of how long it will be able to be used to house the horses safely.
“This is one of the biggest challenges ever to be met for our youth at the Huron County Fair, but we are confident in our community and county that this challenge will be met,” she said. “The Huron County Horse Council ... needs to raise around $400,000 to begin construction of the new barns. In order to continue our horse program, the new horse barns must be built within a couple years.
Those wishing ot donate to the cause can call Clemons at 419-681-0168 for more information.