Nebraska State Fair Cares Program Continues

The Nebraska State Fair is opening entries for the State Fair Cares program for 2015. The State Fair Cares program is designed to benefit bona fide non-profit organizations in Nebraska by allowing them premium access to the Nebraska State Fair visitors for solicitation of funds, item collection or program awareness.

“The biggest change to the program this year is that all entries will be taken online, eliminating the need for written submissions,” Shaun Schleif, director of marketing and sponsorships said, “Qualifying organizations simply have to go to StateFair.org and click on the State Fair Cares icon to begin the process. Once complete, they click submit and the process is complete.”

In the programs inaugural year, TeamMates Mentoring Program of Nebraska and the Plainsman Museum in Aurora were the top two winners respectively of the Nebraska State Fair Cares program. In addition to their organization’s exposure to State Fair guests, they were also awarded a check in the amount of $2,500 each from the Nebraska State Fair.

Like last year, two winners will be chosen from bonafide non-profits with one from communities of 50,000 population and above and another from communities 49,999 population and below. Those considered to become finalists must offer services in one of three categories from the Nebraska State Fair mission statement. Those are:

• Agriculture
• Education
• Nebraska Families

Schleif said, “The Nebraska State Fair will match the dollar amount equal to the value of donations which may include money, clothing or product, up to $10,000 for the first place entry and up to $5,000 for the second place selection. If one of the chosen groups simply wants to educate fairgoers about their organization, the State Fair will contribute $2,500 for their cause.”

The first place entrant will get to showcase their organization on Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, through Monday September 5, 6 & 7 while the second place entrant will showcase their organization on the first Saturday and Sunday August 29 & 30.

“Average attendance for the first weekend is 75,000 fairgoers and Labor Day Weekend averages nearly 150,000 people,” Schleif said, “We know we can benefit those selected organizations by allowing them access to our fairgoers to further enhance their project goals.”

Deadline for entries is June 19 at 5pm. The first 25 from each population category will be accepted and after review, an independent panel of judges as well as the executive committee of the Nebraska State Fair board of directors will judge the top five finalists from each category. Selected entries will be notified by July 10, 2015.