A Time to Review, Assess and Plan: Our Wish List Becomes Reality Only With Your Help
Planning. It's something we all have to do at some point but find we postpone as much as possible. When you think about it, our lives are filled with figuring out what to do. We make plans for supper, for the weekend, for our homes, for retirement and so much more. As you might imagine, there is quite a bit of planning that goes on at the Fair too.
Each October, after we've had a chance to gather our thoughts and clean off our desks following the Fair, the board and staff meet to review the most recent Fair. We also discuss programming ideas through a strategic planning session. The center of the discussion focuses on our capital expenditures for the next year, five years and the long term.
The Fairgrounds' infrastructure has been greatly improved over the past 19 years, but there is still much to do, and this doesn't include daily maintenance of our facility. At the meeting, we discuss what we wish for and what we think is most pressing.
It's interesting to see how opinions vary across departments. The maintenance staff looks at deterioration and hours needed to maintain a facility, the interim events staff looks at rental potential, and competitive events officials consider how many head of livestock can be housed.
Generation of income, visitor safety, Fair-goer experience and historical value are all part of the evaluation process. Many questions are raised with no definitive answers. When finished, the board has a list of recommendations to use as it allocates funds for capital projects needed in both the short and long term. It's planning sessions like these that underscore the importance of developing an endowment fund. No matter how much we might ignore it, the future does become the present, and if there is no long-term preparation, our goals are not accomplished.
The mission of the Blue Ribbon Foundation is to renovate and restore the Iowa State Fairgrounds. We've accomplished a lot but know there is much left to be done. This will take careful planning and a long-term vision to make sure the work continues and the improvements are maintained.
With your assistance, and maybe some planning of your own, we can work together to steward the renovation of the Iowa State Fairgrounds, preserving a wonderful summer tradition for generations to come.
If you would like to leave a legacy for future generations of Fair-goers, call us at (515) 262-3111 x373.