Upping the Ante to Celebrate 50—Bob and Virginia Bettle Celebrate a Half-Century at the Fair
For 50 years Bob Bettle has made sure to attend the Iowa State Fair, and his wife, Virginia, has shared this experience for 49 of those years.
While Virginia admits to enjoying the Fair, Bob is truly the avid fairgoer. Growing up in Waterloo, Bob attended the Cattle Congress as well as visited the Iowa State Fair. With no agricultural or farming background, Bob has always maintained a sincere dedication to the Fair and all it has to offer. He strongly believes in supporting Iowa youth and agricultural projects and does so by annually supporting the Sale of Champions. While at the Fair, Bob makes sure to get a foot-long hot dog and a supply of the delicious saltwater taffy that's so hard to find anywhere else. Having retired from a career with Wells Fargo, Bob is able to focus more on enjoying the Fair, as well as his passion for cars and TVs.
The Bettles have been involved with the Blue Ribbon Foundation since its inception in 1993 and have watched it grow into a successful organization that has restored dignity to the Fairgrounds. Bob and Virginia have primarily supported the Foundation's Fan Fair, 1854 Society and Jake's Club programs, as well as making general donations to the Rebuilding the Dream fund. They graciously give to the Foundation because of the value they see in the programs and events offered in support of the Iowa State Fair.
"Many people have money, but not many people give it away," Bob says.
Earlier this year, Bob contacted the Foundation to find out what the couple had donated over the years. They decided to donate $25,000 to increase their total contributions to $50,000, commemorating the 50 years Bob has attended the Fair. This generous donation was directed to the Blue Ribbon Foundation's endowment, ensuring a bright future for the Fairgrounds.
"The Iowa State Fair is the No. 1 attraction in Des Moines and the top agricultural attraction for the Midwest states," Bob says.
Because they enjoy the Fair and the opportunity it provides for families to come together, the Bettles are proud to be part of its future.
Bob and Virginia know that people come from across the nation to experience the Iowa State Fair, and Bob is pleased that he and Virginia can financially support the Blue Ribbon Foundation and such a grand Iowa tradition.