Opening Day for the Missouri State Fair always draws large crowds, and with the beautiful weather this year was no exception.
One didn’t have to look very far though to notice a group of very special guests to the Opening Day Ceremony and many other fun-filled activities at the fair, as approximately 100 members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri visited the fair.
“It’s a highlight of their summer, the Club members are chosen are based on their behavior and Club attendance so attending the fair is a reward for having a great Boys & Girls Club summer,” BGCWCM Communications Director Emily Jarrett said. “They’re especially proud because as a part of McCarthy Toyota’s sponsorship, they each get a special T-shirt to wear that day. I see old fair T-shirts at the Club all the time, they love wearing them.”
According to MSF Marketing Director Kari Mergen, the Kansas City Area Toyota Dealers and McCarthy Toyota are one of a number of sponsors who make the event, now in its fourth year, possible.
“The Missouri State Fair provides admission for the kids and staff and also bottled water throughout the day for the kids and Wade Shows, our carnival company, provides carnival passes for the kids on this day,” Mergen explained. “The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and the Beef House provide lunch for the kids and staff at a reasonable rate, which is paid for by the Kansas City Toyota Dealers.”
Two other sponsors help make the event possible — KCP&L provides the funding for the bus transportation for the kids to come to the Fair. After a morning of activities the kids are treated to a watermelon snack provided by AgriMissouri/Missouri Grown.
“Karl Kramer at McCarthy has really spearheaded this whole effort from the beginning and we appreciate his efforts to make sure our local kids have a chance to experience the fair,” Jarrett commented. “He’s a great community and club sponsor.
“For some of them, this is their only chance to see everything the fair has to offer,” Jarrett added.
Making it possible for youth to experience the fair and create memories is the reason the corporate sponsors take part.
“The Kansas City Area Toyota Dealers understand the importance of supporting our youth and it has been a great opportunity to partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri,” said Karl Kramer, communications director for McCarthy Auto Group. “It is tremendous to offer these kids the opportunity to attend Opening Ceremonies and spend an entire day at the Missouri State Fair. We hope these memories will last a lifetime.”
Jarrett explained that the day, which is supervised by about 15 Boys & Girls Club staff members, starts with the Opening Day Ceremony.
“Then we split into groups to go see some of the free shows and entertainment,” Jarrett continued. “We usually make a trip to the Family Fun Center and then the Home Ec Building before lunch at the Beef House.
“Then we have two hours of unlimited rides on the Midway,” she added. “After that it’s a snack at the Ag Building and then home to probably take a nap as it’s been a very full day.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484