PITTSBURG —  The Crawford County Fair Association hosted a ribbon cutting for an event center dedicated to the Leon V. & Dorothy M. Skubitz Foundation for their contribution to the Crawford County Fair Association on Thursday.

The fair association was sought out by the Skubitz Foundation to receive $45,000.

“As opposed to organizations or agencies coming to us members of our board to seek out worthy causes, we look year round to decide one organization that is worthy to receive the grant,” Skubitz Foundation Committee Member Frances Mitchelson said. “This year that was the Crawford County Fair Association.
“We are here to honor the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Skubitz with this generous donation that was able to provide this building.”

Mitchelson said the Crawford County Fair Association was the right place to donate the money as they reflected the Skubitz’ mission.

“It’s their mission is to improve the quality of life for families and children here in Crawford County,” she said.

Other donors and partnerships were: Fair Board Member Families (Past, Present and Future), Chad Erickson Custom Cabinets, Chris Walsh, City of Girard and Crews, Crawford County, Commissioners and Crews, Crawford County Farm Bureau Members, Craw-Kan Telephone Inc., Doug and Kim Harris, Fox Construction, Girard Area Community Foundation, In the Garden Landscaping, Producers Coop of Girard, Skubtiz Foundation, Steve Kichler Woodworking, Vinylplex, Westhoff Custom Interiors, Ziegler Electric and contractors: Legacy Construction, Evans Concrete, Born Electric, Tim Steward Plumbing, SEK Heat and Air, Home Center Construction, Heidrick's Appliance, Midwest Minerals, Scott Born Electric, Radell Company.

According to Angels Among Us Volunteer Jan Allai, for 50 years the “Beulah Church Ladies” fed chicken to fairgoers in the “original” building and for the past 11 years Angels Among us have done the same.

Fair Board Treasurer Robert Tersinar said a windstorm damaged the building badly.
“It is a miracle it didn’t fall in last year,” he said.

It took eight months to rebuild the facility, with only a few more things left to do inside. The landscaping and internet and other services are all complete — the smell of fried chicken and cool air conditioning came out the building each time a customer walked in and out during the ribbon cutting.

B.J. Harris, director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said the progress has been “incredible” and it wouldn’t have been possible without the generous donations, along with the local businesses and leadership who all “took the bull by the horns,” he said.

“It has been an incredible progress that has been happening out here and a lot of it has to do with the leadership,” Harris said to the crowd at the ribbon cutting. “The guys behind me along with the fairboard members out in the audience, really took the bull by the horns….

and really lead us towards bringing this facility up to the level it needs to be.”

To continue fairground renovations and projects Dale Coomes from the Girard Area Community Foundation said the foundation will be doing a matching challenge.

“If you make a donation to the foundation we will match up to $5,000,” he said.

Those who wish to donate can contact the fair board.

The Skubitz Event Center at the Crawford County Fairgrounds will be used for the Angels Among Us “Chicken Cafe” during the fair time, weddings, and other community events.

“It’s a beautiful place,” Harris said. “It has a lot of memories to a lot a of people, all it needed a lot of tender love and care and a lot of hard work and sweat.”

 — Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.