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Local groups raise money selling food at Elkhart County 4-H Fair

The Elkhart County 4-H Fair means big business, especially for food vendors. Many groups and organizations spend a week at the fair selling food as their primary fundraiser.

“If the fair wasn't here there would be a lot more fund drives and people taking donations and stuff to support the programs that they have,” said Rich Utley, President of the Elkhart County Fair.

Utley says most local clubs, like Kiwanis, earn their entire budget for the year after one week at the fair. 

“We have a lot of service groups that come out,” said Utley.

Most of those service groups make money selling snacks. Snacks that go through Tim Yoder, Head of Food Concessions.

“When I go to a grocery store I'm in the produce section just scanning the aisles trying to think will it fry, can we try it? Would it scare people if we fry it?” said Yoder.

While Yoder asks can we fry it, local clubs ask will they buy it?

Look closely at the signs to find out if your money is going toward a community club, or a local business like one of the private vendors.

“It does help the businesses around the area,” said Yoder.

While many spend money at the fair, others make money.

The 4-H members can earn a lot of money auctioning off their livestock.

“We had a great auction last year. I think it was $1.14 million last year,” said Utley.

The people who attend the fair come from far away.

“We've had people from Canada and various places that come around hear about the Elkhart County Fair, and like to come and see it,” said Utley.

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