Donors for new barn introduced

T-L Photo/J.D. LONG A project is underway to bring a new horse barn and horse complex with riding area to the Harrison County Fairgrounds. Major donors were introduced to the public Friday afternoon after a break in auctioneering. Donors for new horse barn introduced

CADIZ — The project may be well underway, but it was time to publicly announce the Harrison County Fair’s major local donors for a new horse complex.

Inside the Roy & Eleanor Birney Memorial Livestock Complex, Jessie Birney, a member of the horse committee and Harrison County Aggricultural Society, did the honors.

Birney called it “astronomical” that the committee had reached 65% of its fundraising goal, especially considering the pandemic and recession wreaking havoc.

“So, today we would really like to appreciate and acknowledge the donors that we have thus far,” Birney said.

All donor groups that were present were given a plaque. The first group brought up after a break in auctioneering was the Smith family, donating in the name of Dwain and Margaret Smith to make the announcer’s booth possible. Terry Smith said the county fair was a big part of his mother and father’s life and that they appreciated being a part of it.

The second group introduced by Birney was the Flying Dollar Ranch of Boulder, Colorado “by way of Hopedale, Ohio.” Kira Birney, a representative for owners Paul and Sue Raab, was there to accept the plaque.

The next donor recognized was D&J Sales & Service, represented by Tina Jones who accepted their plaque.

Next was Encino Energy, which Birney said has been a supporter of the project since the beginning. Williams Energy followed and was said to also be a large contributor to the project.

South Central Power Fpundation was also a contributor, awarding the agricultural society a grant. The society also received a grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

“This grant is going to really enable us to move forward with several of our big tasks on our to-do lists,” Birney told the crowd and welcomed anyone interested to contribute.

Birney later said the project had been three to four years in the making and a group effort.

Benefiting from these donors were the landscaping, drainage and riding arena portions of the project, along with the horse barn itself. All aspects of the effort will add to the general livestock area of the fairgrounds. What is left to construct are restrooms, the barn, an announcer’s booth and a “classroom structure” to contain another restroom and shower facility.

“We all feel like we’re a big family and that’s been tremendous,” Birney said.

Vice president of the Harrison County Fair Board Rich Eberhart said the total project was estimated at just over $1 million and expected to take up to 10 years to complete. He said the barn itself is estimated to cost around $300,000.

“You find a little money, you do a little bit,” he said of the whole process.

President Lynette Dauch said the price of lumber and problems with the economy will and have caused some delays in the project, but said they are closer to making it happen.

Eberhart said once the project is complete far down the road, the committee will be looking to add a riding trail with extra property that exists on the perimeter of the fairgrounds.

“It’s all about the kids,” he said regarding what longterm benefits this should bring.

“It’s not about the adults. You give them a good place to be and something to do,” he said in the hope that it will benefit the youth of the county.


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