The fair is meant for fun, but for these ladies, it’s also a lot of work.
Members of the Cass County Indiana Extension Homemakers Association are wrapping up their 14th year preparing food at the Cloverleaf Complex at the Cass County 4-H Association Fairgrounds, continuing a tradition of serving food at the fair that dates farther back than many of the members can remember.
The Indiana Extension Homemakers Association, which turned 100 this year, is made up of divisions all over the state that engage in homemaking education and community involvement.
At any time from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the fair, at least 14 of the association’s members along with other volunteers can be found in the complex flipping burgers, assembling hot dogs, filling drinks, chopping vegetables, putting salads together, washing dishes and more.
All of the hard work is about community involvement and raising money for the association’s future endeavors, said Jeanna Paschen, the association’s current president.
“A lot of our kids were in 4-H,” she said. “There was a need to provide a service here at the fair for the families. It’s a source of income for the extension homemakers and also so we can do more community service projects.”
Connie Stevens, a former president of the association, said the group made about $10,000 in revenue last year.
Paschen said half of the association’s funds raised go to the Cass County 4-H Association, with the other half going to the Homemakers. She said the group ultimately ends up using the funds to provide college scholarships, sewing quilts and blankets for nursing homes, sponsoring area families experiencing financial hardships and more. The group also makes donations to the U.S. military, various children’s hospitals and toward cancer research.
“It’s a really good cause for all of Cass County,” said Dee Butts, who has been a member of the association for more than 35 years.