Fairground fundraiser will help update aging shower house

Friday, February 1, 2013
Gary Dowell, Jill Lilleman and Saline County Fairboard president Sam Igo stand in front of the aging restroom and shower house at the Saline County fairground. On Feb. 16, the second Denim and Diamonds fundraiser will be held. All proceeds from the event will go towards renovations for the shower house. (Carlos Restrepo/Democrat-News)

After a successful start last year, organizers are gearing up again for Denim and Diamonds, set for Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Saline County Fairground multi-purpose building.

Money from the fundraiser will again go toward renovation of the fairground bath and shower house.

"It is sure a worthwhile project," said fair board President Sam Igo. "They sure need to be updated."

Although last year's fundraiser was a great success, organizers said it would take more money to improve the aging concrete block structure currently at the fairground. The goal is to make the bathroom handicap accessible, update toilets, fixtures, dividers, provide more ventilation and add a family bathroom in the middle. They will also add a new shower area.

This conceptual drawing shows what the renovated bathrooms and showerhouse on the Saline County fairground will look like. Although the plans are still being finalized, the new bathroom is expected to include an updated shower, fixture and toilets. Organizers hope the Denim and Diamond fundraiser, set for Feb. 16, will help raise more money toward the renovation.

"We are trying to look at other bath houses around, like at your state parks and stuff, where they are economical from a cooling standpoint and cleaning standpoint and use," said Jill Lilleman, one of the event organizers. "We just don't have enough money yet with our $22,000 to do the concrete work, plumbing and new fixtures."

The planning committee is waiting on a final plan from designer Steve Pollard and hope to have it on display during the event. The new bathrooms will use part of the existing structure, but will include new siding, roofing and columns.

Denim and Diamonds will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and a live auction at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $50 per person. Blue Diamond Tables, which seat eight people, are available for $500.

The Blue Diamond Tables will also include two bottles of complimentary wine and snack foods, Lilleman said.

The meal, catered by Corey Jackson, will include prime rib, shrimp scampi, parmesan mashed potatoes, green beans, garden salad, roll and dessert. There will be a cash bar, but every ticket holder will receive two complimentary drink tickets.

Besides the live auction, there will also be a silent auction.

Fair board members are currently selling tickets for two raffles. One is for a Remington 700mag, 50th Anniversary Limited Edition gun. Those tickets cost $20 per ticket, but only 200 will be sold. The second raffle is for a Judge Taurus handgun. Those tickets are $10 per person and an unlimited number are available.

"Those are available now, and you can buy them from any fair board member up until the 15th of February," said Lilleman. "Of course we'll have Taurus tickets the night of and if we have not sold all Remington tickets we'll have those to."

Unlike last year, when a flurry of tickets were sold close to the event, Lilleman said several tickets have sold early.

The event is open to anyone 21 years or older, but they must be prepaid and preregistered.

Tickets are available at Harriman Law Firm, 171 S. Ellsworth and the Marshall Democrat-News, 121 N. Lafayette Ave. in Marshall.

The Saline County Fair association is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.

Contact Marcia Gorrell at mgorrell@marshallnews.com

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  • Umm ... it costs more per person if you take a table of eight?

    -- Posted by Pragmatist on Fri, Feb 1, 2013, at 9:47 PM
    Response by Marcia Gorrell/Staff writer:
    Yes. But there are advantages. Blue Diamond tables are reserved in advance for your group. They also include two bottles of wine, along with fruit and cheese trays.
  • I would like to add that each 4-H chapter in Saline County was asked to put together a basket to be bid on during the silent auction. It would be nice if the hard work of the kids of 4-H around could have been mentioned in this article as well, never know someone may be more willing to donate if they were aware of that!

    -- Posted by krkmarlf on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 10:51 AM
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