Dedicated women work behind scenes at Shelby County fair
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
The 63rd Annual Shelby County Fair is Sept. 17-22 at the Shelby County Exhibition Center on Alabama 70 in Columbiana.
Fair gates open at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $10, which includes all carnival rides. Livestock shows are Monday, Wednesday and Friday and entertainment will be offered daily.
The fair is sponsored by the Kiwanis Clubs of Columbiana and Chelsea, a group of dedicated individuals who spend countless volunteer hours to produce an “authentic” county fair, complete with carnival rides, livestock shows, home grown entertainment, competitions for fresh produce, canned and dried foods, baked goods, art, sewing, crafts, photography, horticulture and more. Michael Letlow is the Fair Manager.
This Fair is unique to Shelby County. Your $10 ticket is like a donation for all the Fair proceeds go back to our community. Thousands of dollars are given to school libraries; school choirs; SCHS Key Club; scholarships; Scouts; fourth grade water festival; Shelby County Arts Council; Jeanette Niven House; SCHS Art Club; SC Cattlemen Rodeo and others.
There is a dedicated group of women who work behind the scenes, the worker bees at the Fair: Edna Stone, Sue Eddins, Connie Wheeler, Joyce Payne, Sarah Jo Richards, Miranda Carter, Juanita Champion, Jaime Echols, Mary Fogo, Maggie Glass, Elsie Hearn, Alicia Johnson, Maureen Mayfield, Mary Neuendorf, Diane Thomas and Margarita Duran.
Duran, president of the SCHS Key Club, leads more than 40 club members who volunteer at the Fair. Every student is required to volunteer more than 50 hours to be a member of the Key Club, which is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.
“I am a member of the Key Club because of the community service work to help people,” said Duran. “Our club is growing and very active.”
All the women who devote hundreds of volunteer hours do so for a love of their community and especially children. They register, set up booths, take up money, and help in anyway needed but do not judge the competitions which is done by non-partial persons outside Shelby County.
Mayfield said it best, “I give so we can give.”
Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by email at email@example.com.