Ohio Fair Managers induct hall of fame members

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COLUMBUS — The Ohio Fair Managers inducted six new members into the Ohio Fairs Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Jan. 5 during the annual Hall of Fame and Ohio Fair Communication awards breakfast, in Columbus.

These new members include Cathy Cunningham, of the Summit County Fair, Curtis Johnson, of the Fulton County Fair, Charles Cox, of Concessions by Cox, Larry Hughes, of the Hartford Independent Fair, Dan Stone, of the Ashland County Fair, and Jerry Schaffner, of the Shelby County Fair.

Cathy Cunningham

Cunningham grew up at the Summit County Fair, showing goats, horses and non-animal projects from an early age. At the fair, she has served on the program, finance, grounds rental, grounds employee manager, 4-H promotions, ag education, gates and parking committees.

She has also been the junior fair advisor and two years ago made major changes to the Junior Fair Program to get more 4-H youth and parents more involved in the fair. This included creating fundraisers for the Junior Fair Board to travel to the OFMA annual convention and enhancing youth programs.

She joins her father Howard Call and grandfather Charles E. Call as members of the Ohio Fairs Hall of Fame.

Curtis Johnson

Johnson, a lifelong farmer, has always enjoyed the fair and been closely connected to agriculture through involvement with both 4-H and FFA. He began serving on the Fulton County Fair Board in 1981 and continued through 2012 in multiple positions.

In honor of the 150th Fulton County Fair in 2007, he developed an agricultural heritage display chronicling the history of agriculture from hand tools to modern day equipment.

Johnson was inducted into the Fulton County Agricultural Hall of Fame 2006 and was named Outstanding Fair Supporter by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2014.

Concessions by Cox. Cox begin his business in 1957 driving the Dairy Clipper ice cream truck around Fayette County, Ohio. His ice cream trailer became a staple at fairs and festivals. He has served hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Canada to see Pope John Paul II, offered concessions on the White House lawn for President Clinton and worked many large sporting events.

Concessions by Cox has worked the Ohio State Fair for 62 years. Cox has been inducted Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame as well as the Sports Hall of Fame at his alma mater, Wilmington University.

Larry Hughes

Hughes grew up on a farm in Licking County. He started at the fair by showing dairy and beef cattle, and began volunteering after he was discharged from military service. In 1970, Hughes was elected to a seat on the fair board and has been a director since. Over the years, he has been on numerous committees including gates, concessions and ticketing, chairing many of them.

In 2008, Hughes was hired to be the secretary and manager of the Hartford Fair. He has overseen projects including purchasing 10 acres, constructing a new entrance, adding 125 campsites and using grant money from the Ohio Department of Agriculture to build a new beef barn. The 2019 fair was his 50th fair on the board.

Dan Stone

Stone has served Ashland County Fair Board for 24 years. His noted accomplishments include computerizing the fair, helping the fair remain financially stable and auditing dairy fair revenues.

He has led committees on budget, long range planning, tractor pulls, entertainment and rough truck. Dan has lent his leadership skills to support the Ashland FFA program and coaching youth sports in the county.

Jerry Schaffner

Schaffner grew up on a small dairy farm in Houston, Ohio. He served as the fair secretary for the Shelby County Fair for 33 years. He was a founding member of the Shelby County Rabbit Breeders Club. His family raised and showed rabbits in Ohio and the surrounding states for many years.

In 2013, Schaffner received the Greater Ohio Showman’s Associations Secretary of the Year award. In 2018, he was inducted in the Shelby County 4-H Hall of Fame. He died March 11, 2019 and was inducted into the Ohio Fairs Hall of Fame posthumously.

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