---- — As you strolled through the Cass County 4-H Fair last week, checking out the animals and the midway, surveying your options at the food vendors or taking in the concert, you likely didn't see the hustle and bustle behind the scenes making your fair experience possible.
Without volunteers, there wouldn't be a fair. And while it may seem like fun and games for us fairgoers, the fair serves an important role in the development of local youth.
The people who spend their fair week sweating and slaving away understand that. For many, that's why they do it. Others volunteer as a means to serve the community as a whole.
Among that group is the Cass County Indiana Extension Homemakers Association. The organization just wrapped up its 14th year preparing food at the Cloverleaf Complex at the fairground. You would have found one of its volunteers slaving away from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the fair.
And that's just the week of the fair. By the time fair week rolls around, they've been on the job for over a month, ordering and preparing food to feed the masses that passed through their booth.
We can only assume it wasn't a walk in the midway, er, park.
Association members will tell you they do it to get involved in their community, but also to raise money to help the community later.
The money they raise during fair week allows them to do more community service projects. They work hard during the fair so that a student can have a college scholarship, or so that a nursing home resident can enjoy a new quilt or blanket, or so that an area family can get through a financial hardship.
And organizations like the homemakers wouldn't have a fairground to serve at if it wasn't for area businesses and organizations making financial donations. Countless organizations step up every year and donate the money needed to renovate existing buildings, construct new facilities and make infrastructure updates.
And then there's the donations needed to provide 4-H'ers with trophies, plaques, pins and ribbons for their projects. And someone has to pay for the manuals provided to 4-H members to help guide them through the program.
So, while it might not be easy to see when you're enjoying yourself at the fair, there's an army of people making it all happen. And whether they do it for the community as a whole or just the kids, these people make our fun week at the fair possible.
And all they ask in return is for us to show up and have a good time.
THE ISSUE The Cass County 4-H Fair. OUR VIEW Volunteers and donors make the fair possible.