GALLIPOLIS — On Oct. 19, several 4-H members, fair volunteers, and members of the Gallia County Agricultural Society gathered to celebrate the beginning phases of new construction for the relocated Gallia County Junior Fairgrounds. Specifically, the evening honored the fair relocation’s first major donor, the Thomas Do-It Center.
Autumn Thomas-Walter and representatives from the Thomas Do-It Center presented their donation of all materials and labor for the construction of a new horse barn on the relocated fairgrounds. The newly constructed horse barn will be approximately 11,000 square feet and house 64 horse stalls. The construction has started this week and should be complete within the next month.
Thomas-Walter said, “Through private fundraising, support of families, the hard work of exhibitors, and generosity of local businesses, a safer fairground is on the horizon. I would like to challenge parents and business owners for your support. Sponsor a stall, sponsor a building…take some initiative to make this a better county for our cherished youth.”
In addition to the Thomas family’s donation, volunteers of the fair relocation committee and fair board members have worked to secure $100,000 in matching grants to subsidize insurance monies received from the 2015 Commercial Building Fire. The Gallia County Fair Grounds received $50,000 in matching funds from both the Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation (SOACDF) County Agricultural Society Grant and the Ohio Department of Agriculture Agricultural Society Facilities Grant Program, respectively. With those funds, an open-air arena is in process of being constructed to facilitate year-round multi-function events at the relocated fairgrounds. Construction on the open-air arena should be completed in late Summer/Fall of 2018.
If you are interested in learning more about the relocation of the Gallia County Fairgrounds or donating, please contact any fair board member or the volunteer chairpersons for the relocation effort: Jodie Penrod, (740) 441-7938 or Jennifer Bonzo (740) 821-4660. Tax-exempt donations can also be made directly to the Gallia County Fair Relocation Fund, Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, P.O. Box 456, 35 Public Square, Nelsonville, Ohio 45764 or donating online at https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/foundationforappalachianohio.