Columbiana County Fair board receives two $50,000 donations

This artist's rendering shows the proposed new grandstands at the Columbiana County Fairgrounds. Demolition of the existing grandstands is set for Dec. 14, and plans are for the new $750,000 grandstands project to be completed before the 2014 fair.

LISBON, Ohio — The Columbiana County Fair board has received two additional $50,000 gifts from area families to move the new grandstands project forward.

The Richard F. Wilk Jr. family and the Zehentbauer families of Hanover Farms moved the Columbiana County Fair’s grandstand project closer to its goal of $900,000.

Winner’s Circle

The Wilk Family gift will create a Winner’s Circle, an area where winners of any competition will come to be photographed.

“My family has been blessed in many ways, and we are thrilled to be in a position to support the Columbiana County Fair,” said Dick Wilk, a lifelong resident of Columbiana County and founder of Specialty Ceramics, Inc. and Refractory Specialties, Inc. in the early 1990s.

Both companies were sold in 2011, but Wilk still manages both companies.

Zehentbauer gift

The donation from the Neil and Richard Zehentbauer families of Hanover Farms, near Hanoverton, will name the 240-square-foot press box that will sit atop the new grandstand.

The family, like others, grew up attending and participating at the fair.

“We have worked hard and been fortunate as a family, so we loved the idea of helping the fair achieve their goal of having the grandstand up in time for this year’s fair,” said Rich Zehentbauer.

New grandstands

The fair board tore down the aging grandstand Dec. 14, 2013.

The new grandstand will seat 2,500, which is 1,100 more than the previous seating.

“The donations have ranged from $20 to $300,000,” said Tresa Unkefer, fair board secretary. “We are so grateful for the support, and we need them all.”

The board said the new seating will be in place for this year’s fair, July 28-Aug. 3.


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