4 million bucks

Fair’s impact is in the numbers, and a whole lot more than that

Lots of people in Rockdale have spent much of the past year doing their best to try and figure out how to bring an event to town that will put us on the map.

They envision something that will fill up the motels and restaurants, generate lots of sales tax activity, reflect positively on the town and make people want to come back.

There’s actually something that accomplishes every one of those goals and has been doing it for the past 38 years.

It is, of course, the Rockdale Fair.

There are a lot of numbers associated with the Fair. How about 304? That’s the number of years experience the current Fair board of directors has had putting on this event for Rockdale and the area.

Three of then, Rod Spence, Claude Spence and Ruth Johnson have been involved the entire 38 years. Four other directors, Leroy Freeman, Daniel Griffin, Nancy Griffin and Barbara Walko, have 20 years or more.

Then there’s 44. That’s the number of directors and junior directors on the Fair Board. There’s a photo of them in the Fair program. Except there are less than 44 people pictured. There probably isn’t a photo in existence that has all of them in it. That’s because you can’t pick a time when some of them aren’t working on some project.

Thirty is a pretty good number, too. That’s the number of years, since 1976, when the Fair Association has made some kind of improvement to Fair Park. That’s free improvements, donated to the city and its taxpayers.

This year those improvements include water and electrical upgrades to the barbecue area and a major electrical upgrade to the livestock barn and pavilion. Did you notice the new lights? You did if you ever tried to take photos under the old ones.

There’s 46, the number of scholarships awarded to 4-H and FFA members by the RFA since the first one was handed out in 1985.

But just about the other numbers pale compared to this one—$4,333,780.

That’s the number of dollars given to 4-H and FFA youth in the livestock auction since the first one in 1977. Well, “given” isn’t the right word. They’ve earned every penny, getting an education in the way life works as a bonus.

Throw in an additional $472,125 from nine commercial heifer sales and the total grows further.

Rockdale area businesses did that. Does that mean nobody has had a bad year since 1977? Of course not.

It just means this community has a very well developed sense of what’s really important. And so does the RFA—M.B.

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2013-10-24 digital edition

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