The Nebraska State Fair Pays it Forward

The Nebraska State Fair announces the launch of the State Fair Cares campaign to assist non-profit entities throughout the state.

According to State Fair executive director, Joseph McDermott, “We want to thank Nebraskans for the tremendous support we’ve received and pay it forward to non-profit groups and organizations throughout Nebraska. We believe that the State Fair Cares program will do just that.”

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.

Nebraska State Fair Mission:

The Nebraska State Fair: The nation’s most innovative exhibition focusing on interactive agriculture and educational experiences promoting families, fun and Nebraska pride.

With the State Fair’s new mission statement, organizations participating in the program must offer services in one of three categories:
• Agriculture
• Education
• Nebraska Families

The selected entries will be chosen from two distinct groups. One from non-profits whose service area has a population of 50,000 and above and one from non-profits whose service area has a population of 50,000 and below.

McDermott 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 selected entries will also receive ten gate and parking passes and three hotel rooms for their stay.

The first place entrant will get to showcase their organization on Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, through Monday August 30 to September 1, while the second place entrant will showcase their organization on the first Saturday and Sunday August 23 and 24.

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

Interested organizations should go to and click on the State Fair Cares logo. This will take them to a page where they can download the application, instructions and rules and regulations for participation in the State Fair.

Deadline for entries is May 30th 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 1, 2014.

McDermott said, “The Nebraska State Fair has experienced so much success since moving to Grand Island in 2010, that we simply want to take our many blessings and pay them forward.”