Three organizations that have made thousands of dollars at the fair in previous years will now have to find other ways to raise funds as the Stanislaus County Fair has decided to dissolve an agreement that allows them to sell alcohol at the 2015 fair.
According to Stanislaus County Fair CEO Chris Borovansky, the three nonprofits who have lost their contracts are the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Active 20-30 Club, and FACT Club (Families Activities Community Turlock).
“It was a business decision and the commercial committee took into account a variety of things when choosing which nonprofits would be affected,” said Borovansky.
This decision comes after the Stanislaus County Fair lost all state funding four years ago. Since then, Borovansky reports that many fairs throughout the state have struggled to survive without the future possibility of funding.
The three organizations were notified by a letter that states, “The Stanislaus County Fair Board, and its foundation, have explored a variety of options, including selling beer and/or wine products. At its most recent meeting, it was decided to move forward with that option.”
According to Active 20-30 Club Vice President Jessica Irish, the club is already considering alternative ways to augment the funds lost from the wine margarita booth the club operated at the fair for more than 20 years.
“We understand that they need to find alternative sources for funding, but it’s also disappointing because it’s a community event,” said Irish, noting that the margarita booth allowed club members to interface with the community. “It was a great way to have a presence at this huge county fair.”
In 2014 the Active 20-30 club generated nearly $7,000, which goes towards monthly donations to local nonprofits that serve underprivileged children and the club’s biggest event — an annual Christmas shopping trip that allows club members to take children in need shopping for $150 worth of winter necessities.
While the future of these nonprofits' presence at the fair is unknown, according to Borovansky, the fair will "continue to support nonprofits as best as we can."
“Our first priority is to keep the doors open,” he said.