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In The Community

The Benton Franklin Fair

Community Relevance

The Benton Franklin Fair Association is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization which produces the annual Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo each August. The Fair Association receives no tax support from Federal, State, County or City sources.

121,313 people attended the five-day fair this year.

The Fair Association has four full-time employees year-round and one part-time groundskeeper, a Board of Directors of 15, and more than 500 volunteers. The Fair hires an additional 100 employees during the month of the event.

The Fair Association and its staff participate in events year-round. In January, the Fair Association hosts anti-bullying assemblies at area schools, reaching 1,600 students. Each of those students receives a free ticket to the fair. The Fair works with the Mid-Columbia library system’s Summer Reading Program, providing 5,000 admission tickets to those completing the program. Fair staff also uses model milking cows to teach youngsters about agriculture, reaching 1,384 5th-graders at Farm Fair each March.

The Fair Association supports a large number of community groups as a sponsor or host. These include:

· Service groups and churches hired to work at the fair earned $39,984

· Sponsorships and donations for community fund-raisers: $31,901

· Scholarships: $4,750 annually

· Breast cancer: the Fair has donated more than $153,000 in the past 10 years to area hospitals for preventative care and treatment for women without insurance.

· Revenue for four service groups with food concessions at the fair in 2016: $114,264

· A donation of 12,996 pounds of food to 2nd Harvest will provide meals for children, families and seniors in need in our community.

· The Fair participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Sage Crest Elementary, providing free fair tickets for the students.

1,677 youth and adults entered 9,746 items in the Benton Franklin Fair in 2016. The fair paid out more than $50,000 in prizes and cash for those exhibits.

The Market Stock Auction generated more than $875,414 for local 4-H and FFA members. Many of those members use their money toward developing their livestock projects or their college educations. The small animal sale generated more than $30,000 for exhibitors.

The Fair produces an annual parade in downtown Kennewick, with 3,800 spectators and 1,978 participants.

1,126 amateur entertainers performed during the Fair.

One-hundred eighty businesses supported the fair in 2016 providing $680,000 in sponsorship and more than $200,000 in in-kind donations.

The Horse Heaven Round-Up Rodeo hosted the Wrangler PRCA Champions Challenge in 2016, which was recently broadcast to a national audience of more than 60 million households on CBS Sports.

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