In Governor Rendell’s proposed budget for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, released on February 9, the amount budgeted for the PA Fair Fund is zero.

Pennsylvania fairs started at the same position last year, but were able to get $2 million back in the budget. This resulted in the North East Community Fair receiving two-thirds of the monies it normally would have.

Fortunately, the Fair had built up a fund balance and will be able to operate a fair in 2010. However, without additional cash, several features of the fair may disappear. Consequently, the Fair Association will be operating several fundraisers this year.

First, the Fair will solicit sponsorships (both general and in areas that specifically support parts of departments and individual programs).

Those interested in helping preserve the Fair may contract sponsorships with the Fair Association at the following levels: Friend ($49 and under), Sponsor ($50 to $99), Silver Patron ($100 to $249), Gold Patron ($250 to $499) and Platinum Patron ($500 and up).

Those who contribute $50 and up are eligible to sponsor a department section; those contributing at least $100 will be able to submit a business logo for publication.

All contributors will be recognized in printed version of the North East Community Fair’s premium book, including eligible logos. In addition, logos and contributors will be posted on the Fair’s website.

Because the Fair has been approved as a non-profit corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, such contributions may be tax-deductible.

Sponsorships are available on the Fair’s website, or at Dog-Gone-Its, 1 West Main St., North East, PA. All sponsorships must be completed on or before April 20, 2010.

Second, the Fair will again sell personalized baking pans and other kitchen equipment through the “That’s My Pan” program.  The Fair Association had success with this program last year. Please e-mail or call 725-9187 for further information on this program.

Third, the Fair will sponsor a “garage sale” of donated items on June 19. Persons wishing to donate good, clean items in working order should contact Diana Hatfield at 725-3904.

For further information on the budget for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at http://www.scribd. com/doc/26610140/The-PA-FY-2010-2011-General-Fund-Budget-Proposal — Beware this document runs 1,170 pages and may not be suitable for some computers or Internet connections. The line item for the Fair Fund is listed under the Department of Agriculture as “Payments to Pennsylvania Fairs.” In 2008, 116 fairs operated in Pennsylvania, showcasing the Commonwealth’s largest single industry. In 2009, only 113 fairs operated.

Without additional funding, continuation of the North East Community Fair, founded in 1923, is in jeopardy.

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