Fair wins big at fundraising supper

Nathan Rigsby held his prize up high when he won a Ruger Talo 10/22 gun.

Erica Cleveland clapped and cheered when she won a $1,000 Visa Gift Card.

Titan Immel “cracked the safe” to win a laptop computer, a pair of Bose headphones and a wireless speaker. 

Roy Sargent, who was honored Saturday with a service award for over 40 years given to the Guthrie County Fair, is headed to St. Louis after winning a tour of the AnheuserBusch St. Louis Brewery and tickets behind homeplate for the Cardinals and Phillies baseball game in June. 

The real winner, however, at the third annual steak supper and auction on March 18 in Guthrie Center was the Guthrie County Fair.

The event was sold out — 400 tickets for $20 each — and it looks as though everyone came, organizers said. 

Area beef producers donated funds to pay for steaks, grilled by the Guthrie County Cattlemen. Hometown Foods catered and Sheeder Cloverleaf Dairy donated ice cream. 

All of the live and silent auction items were donated as well.

Final figures from the fundraiser are still being tallied, but organizers say they expect to raise similar to what they have each of the last two years, which totals around $60,000.

“We do not have the final numbers yet, but I do know that the proceeds from the auction items alone were very similar to the last couple of years,” said Jen Buttler, who along with her husband Keith, a member of the Guthrie County Agricultural Society’s Fair Board, helped organize the event Saturday.

Totals will be finalized after final tallies from the bar and deposit of ticket sales are made, she said.

Keith Buttler, along with fair board directors, thanked the huge crowd of supporters throughout the evening, oftentimes with some humor.

“I love when a load of rock brings a grand,” Keith Buttler chimed, as bidders fought over 15 ton of rock delivered within 20 miles of Guthrie Center. A grilling package, including a Daniel Boone Grill with Wifi and a mouth-watering beef package also brought $1,000 on the live auction. 

Laughery Auction Services, including Dan Laughery, Terry Laughery, Cole Stetzel and Clay Stetzel, called the auction, each amusing the crowd with irreverent comments spouted out between tongue-twisting auctioneering.

“Guys, you can mess up 12 times, buy her some flowers.”

“Even though I don’t like the Hawkeyes, what will you give me?”

“This right here is stitched with love.”

“Grandma, what’s your number?” 

Live auction items included various beef and pork packages, Yeti coolers, a “front porch package”, a “women’s pampering package”, a “technology package,” a hand-stitched quilt by Betty Simmons, a homemade pie by Guthrie County Fair Queen Leigan Laughery, a “patio package” — a Berlin Gardens Comfo-Back Double Glider and Backyard Creations Propane Patio Heater — was one of the highest selling live auction items, selling for $1,500. 

Karen Esslinger and family donated an American Flag and Cow Painting in memory of Don Esslinger, a longtime supporter of the fair, who after the flood of 1958 helped rebuild the fairgrounds.

Silent Auction items included handmade wooden lamps, gourmet cupcakes, a DVD player, a Polaroid camera, and model tractors.

In both auctions, there were 10 opportunities to buy a chance to win the St. Louis Package, which included a tour for two of the Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery, followed by a five-course food and beer pairing dinner at The Biergarten, a one night hotel stay and tickets for two behind homeplate at the Cardinals-Phillies game, and a 1 and 10 chance to win a $1,000 Visa Gift Card. 

Games of Reverse Bingo, Yahtzee and Plinko were also competitive. Several cash awards were donated back to the fair building.

“Thank you so much,” Keith Buttler said. “We appreciate it.” 

Proceeds from the evening will be used to pay down the loan on the Event Center. 

“In the past year we have made $60,000 in payments, almost three years worth,” said Jolene Sheeder, who serves as secretary of the Guthrie County Fair Foundation Board. The accelerated payments have brought the debt down to $103,000 and has been made possible with donations from the steak suppers, Sheeder said. 

Once the debt is paid off, the board looks forward to helping other areas.

Sheeder touched on several things happening on the fairgrounds, including the construction of two new animal barns. Fundraisers are in progress and in a short time $39,000 has been raised for the barn to house poultry and rabbits, she said.

The fair’s new website has been in existence for a year and continues to be a source of vast information for everyone, Sheeder said. All open class listings, a fairground calendar of events, rental contacts can all be found at www.GuthrieCountyFair.com. 

Sheeder said several purchases were made this year for the Event Center, including table and chairs, refrigerators, sound system, LCD projector, coat racks and the permanent installation of the memorial bricks. A new sound system for the grounds, a new lawn mower and LCD lighting for the 4-H Center were also purchased. 

“We have a proud heritage in our fair that started back in 1858 and we are committed to keeping it an integral part of our county for generations to come,” Sheeder said. “Thank you to everyone for your continued support of the Guthrie County Fair.”

Next year’s steak supper is scheduled for March 3. 

Contact Us

Guthrie Center Times
PO Box 217
205 State Street (Dropbox)
Guthrie Center, IA 50115

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PO Box 38
111 E. Main Street
Panora, IA 50216

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