When most think about the Washington State Fair, scones and roller coasters come to mind. Most don’t think of the Washington State Fair as a provider of scholarships or a key factor in preserving the legacy that is well known as Puyallup’s landmark event as part of the Washington State Fair Foundation.
For Beth Brooks, manager of fund development for the fair’s foundation, she says it’s all in an effort to keep the positive memories she had as a child of the fair alive for generations to come.
Because of that desire, the foundation has developed a three-prong mission that includes education, preservation and improvement.
As part of the education prong, more than $1 million has been awarded in scholarships to local students since the program’s inception 25 years ago.
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“I love that part ... when (students) come back and say that we helped them graduate debt free,” Brooks said.
Another part of the education mission of the fair foundation is the traveling farm, a semitruck full of farm-to-fork education for local students.
“It’s a field trip that comes to the students,” Brooks said.
The preservation aspect of the foundation most recently was able to purchase a digital archiving system, allowing Fair officials to protect their historic photo collection from deteriorating.
In order to keep the Fair alive for generations to come and to provide scholarships and education materials to local students, the foundation relies heavily on donations to keep the legacy ongoing.
One of the Foundation’s most popular event is a favorite for many longtime and new attendees. The Round Up Auction is set to take place Friday (Aug. 14) at the Events Center Pavilion at the fairgrounds.
Last year, the event raised $100,000, and officials hope to top that number at this year’s Round Up Auction.
A live auction, a silent auction and games are on the docket for the Western-themed event. A BBQ dinner and a hosted bar including beer and wine are included.
For more information on the Fair Foundation or to purchase tickets for the auction, call 253-841-5105 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.