What I have learned so far…

I started my internship with the Blue Ribbon Foundation in March. I have been working on press releases, newsletter articles, and many other projects to get ready for the 2011 Iowa State Fair. I have improved my writing and design skills by working for the Foundation.

One thing that I have learned always sticks out in my mind . . .  People are truly passionate about the Iowa State Fair. I have seen this passion first hand with the Iowan of the Day program and the Corndog Kickoff.

People are willing to take time out of their busy lives to fill out a nomination form for the Iowan of the Day program. They are passionate about honoring outstanding volunteers across the state. I have received amazing nominations for people who have made their community a better place to live. Most of the nominees volunteer hundreds of hours without any recognition at all. The Blue Ribbon Foundation gives ten of those volunteers the opportunity to have VIP treatment during the great Iowa State Fair.

I have been working for the past few months on auction donations for the Corndog Kickoff. As of today, there have been 298 auction donors for the 2011 Corndog Kickoff.  The money raised from the silent and live auction will go to renovations and improvements to the Iowa State Fairgrounds. New for this year’s Fair is the remodel of Expo Hill. The landscape of Expo Hill now features renewable energy technologies including solar power lighting, solar cooled benches and solar powered Wi-Fi benches. There have also been electrical updates in the Sheep Barn and a new fiber optic network. These donors are passionate about maintaining the Fairgrounds.

Just recently I had a phone call from an auction donor. We discussed her donation and the Corndog Kickoff in general. She went on to describe how much she loved the Iowa State Fair. Over the years, she had been to other State Fairs but I could hear the passion in her voice when she spoke about the Iowa State Fair. To her, our Fair was the best.  I think many would agree that nothing compares.

I also had the opportunity to spend last Friday at the Downtown Des Moines Arts Festival. As I worked on the “butter cow masks” with the children, I would ask if they had ever been to the Iowa State Fair. Young kids were even passionate about telling me their favorite part of the Fair, especially their favorite food. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter the age or involvement, Iowans are passionate about their Fair.

-Drew

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