Grant Sheeder (left) and Kendall Kipp (right) burn the event center mortgage at the Guthrie County Fair Fundraising Supper on March 3. By the end of the evening, the fair board had raised enough money to pay off the remaining debt on the building.

Fair Board ‘on fire’ at annual fundraising event

Guthrie County Fair Fundraising Supper raises enough to pay off event center

Things got hot Saturday night at the Guthrie County Fairgrounds Event Center, where 400 fair lovers had the opportunity to eat great food, play games, bid on auction items and watch as the mortgage for the event center was literally burned. 

The annual Guthrie County Fair Fundraising Supper began four years ago, when the fair board was looking for funds to pay off the new event center. Prior to this year’s supper, the debt on the building remained at $29,000. 

This year, by the end of the live auction, the board had raised enough money to pay off the remaining debt. In celebration, the ten-page mortgage document was burned at the end of the night. 

“We’ve been looking forward to this for awhile,” said Fair Board President Grant Sheeder. “When we went to do this (event center) many years ago, it was a combination of all the banks in Guthrie County that helped us make this happen, so we wanted to give a shout-out to Guthrie County State Bank, Panora State Bank, Farmers State Bank, Peoples Trust & Savings Bank and Raccoon Valley Bank.”

Guthrie County Fair Board Vice President Kendall Kipp was tasked with lighting the fire, and community members cheered as the mortgage went up in flames. 

“It wasn’t warm enough in here so we had to start a fire I guess,” Sheeder joked.

The live auction, called by Laughery Auction, reeled in nearly $35,000. The hottest items included bags of seed corn, a box scraper, Hawkeye and Cyclone packages and 40 bags of AcreEdge Soybeans, which sold for $2,750. The silent auction raised an additional $5,000. 

Community members also enjoyed a delicious meal, catered by Lidderdale Country Store, as well as various games, including Yahtzee, Half Playing Card, Crack the Safe and more. 

Even though the debt on the event center has been paid off, the fair board will continue to hold fundraisers to support new improvements at the fairgrounds.

“On behalf of the fair board, I really want to thank you,” Kipp told guests. “We’ve really put a dent in things, and it’s all because of you.” 

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