If you ever wanted your family name on a brick, and you wanted it to be there forever, on a revered spot on the Douglas County Fairgrounds, this is the time to do it.
The Douglas County Fair Foundation, created to make sure the annual fair and fairgrounds have funds for future needs and improvements, is in the midst of what foundation members think is a very meaningful project that will honor various people and raise money, too — the Heritage Plaza project.
The under-construction plaza has a couple purposes — to be a place to hold outdoor concerts and other events, and to be a place to honor people who have made major contributions. And it needs bricks.
“The bricks is one of the coolest ideas I've seen,” Todd Spencer, chairman of the Douglas County Fair Board, said recently.
For $250, someone can put a family member's name, or the family business name, on a brick and become part of the memorial portion of the plaza — and help raise foundation funds.
Spencer said there will be 6,000 memorial bricks when all is said and done.
Spencer said the county financially supports the Douglas County Fair, although the fair generally “breaks even.” But the foundation's funding will take care of “anything out of the ordinary” such as unexpected expenses, “or if we need a capital project the county isn't interested in funding,” he said.
“This memorial and recognition plaza is the only one of its kind in all of Douglas County,” said Bruff Shea, the foundation's president.
Shea said generous donations were received from several businesses to start the fundraising process. Ensuring the fair and rodeo's future is important to Shea.
“The Douglas County Fair and Rodeo is a celebration for all Douglas County residents and has been a cherished event for many generations.”
Foundation members recently gathered at the fairgrounds to install some brick pavers with some important names.
Part of the plaza, called The Wall of Honor, will recognize distinguished men and women with a long record of service and commitment to the operation, management or financial support of the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo. Future inductees will be selected annually through a nomination process. An Aug. 11 ceremony was scheduled to honor this year's inductees, which included John and Bea Lowell; Philip S. Miller; Mildred Stewart; Jim “Sully” Sullivan; and Gill and Cecile Whitman.
The foundation was founded in 2012 and is a nonprofit corporation operated by an all-volunteer board of directors of community leaders and past and current Fair Board members. Anyone interested in helping or learning more about the foundation can get information at www.DouglasCountyFairFoundation.com.