Funds raised for new sign at fairgrounds

By Katy Nesbitt, The Observer April 24, 2013 09:52 am

Trucks lined Wallowa’s Main Street on Saturday afternoon in memory of Keith “Old Snort” McDaniels during his memorial service at the Wallowa School. McDaniels was a longtime trucker in the county, and his friends celebrated his life with a cacophony of horns honking following the service. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)
Trucks lined Wallowa’s Main Street on Saturday afternoon in memory of Keith “Old Snort” McDaniels during his memorial service at the Wallowa School. McDaniels was a longtime trucker in the county, and his friends celebrated his life with a cacophony of horns honking following the service. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)
 

by KATY NESBITT / The Observer

Wallowa County’s most popular venue is getting some new marketing by way of a digitally lighted sign. 

The Fair Board and a team of supporters are raising funds to better advertise coming events at Cloverleaf Hall and on the grounds. 

Clarann Witty of the Wallowa Pomona Grange said her group wants to help the fairgrounds increase its exposure and help raise money.

“The sign is on the fair board’s agenda, and the Grange people need to do something they are capable of doing,” Witty said. “We believe you are supposed to help one another.”

Witty said both the Hurricane Creek and Southfork granges have pledged $100, individuals are giving generation donations of $50 to $70 and the Wallowa County Stockgrowers kicked in $500. 

Even the county’s FFA chapters in Wallowa, Enterprise, and Joseph are helping out. They’ve placed jars at county businesses to help the fundraising effort. Witty said donation jars can be found in Joseph at Joseph Hardware, Mt. Joseph Family Foods, R&R and Sports Corral. In Enterprise, jars can be found at Friends Restaurant, Thompson’s NAPA Auto Supply and the The Range Rider; and in Wallowa, jars can be found at Ram’s Auto and Hardware, Goebel’s gas station and The Main Street Grill.

Velda Bales, Fair Board member, said the new sign will allow the fairgrounds to promote more than one event at a time because the information will rotate through electronically. 

“Now with the current sign we can only advertise one event at a time,” Bales said. “The new reader board can promote several events rotating through with digitally lit tri-color letters. It will benefit the community by promoting the Education Foundation, the fiddle show and the bi-weekly bingo.”

Another benefit of the new sign is that it can be programmed from inside the fairgrounds office on a computer. The current board has to be changed manually and a ladder is needed.

“Someone has to be tall enough to change the lettering, and inclement weather can control when the sign is changed,” Bales said.

The estimate for the sign is roughly $8,000, and the board plans to place it where the current sign is, Bales said.

Fair Board member Mike Hayward said they are looking into a grant from Pacific Power and Light and if received, that money should help bring up the donations considerably.

The Grange, Bales said, set up a bank account for the sign at Enterprise’s Sterling Bank. Anyone wanting to contribute to the fund can walk in during regular banking hours and donate.