As plans were underway for the 2018 California Mid-State Fair, I had a chance to catch up with a dedicated member of our local community – Heritage Foundation Chairman Dave Belmont. California Mid-State Fair Logo
If you don’t know about the CMSF Heritage Foundation, take a moment to read its Mission Statement: To preserve and enrich the heritage of the 16th District Agricultural Association and showcase agricultural industries to the community; to offer support to the 4-H and FFA projects and create agricultural education opportunities; maintain a standard of excellence in the facilities and create capital improvement opportunities and to serve as an arm of the California Mid-State Fair that can accept charitable donations.
Currently, the Foundation boasts more than 350 members. Serving on the Heritage Foundation Board of Directors alongside Belmont are: Daren Friedle, vice chairman; Debbie Dusi, secretary; Deana Nelson, financial officer, along with Susan Beebe, Mike Coon, Joanne Cummings, Brenda Fletcher, Tim Hartzell, Patricia Lawrence, John Peschong, Hugh Pitts, Michael Torgerson and Denise Stornetta.
“Our members are people who want to give back to our community,” said Belmont. “There are generations of families involved in the Mid-State Fair and the Heritage Foundation. We enjoy giving back and seeing how the fairgoers appreciate the projects and improvements we have made over the years.”
Since its inception in 1999, the Heritage Foundation has donated more than $8,000,000 worth of capital improvements to the fair grounds. Donations and projects have included: hog panels, shade cloths, scales, covered equestrian arena, sales ring building, modified arena grandstands, the Heritage Building and Commercial Building 3.
The most recent and perhaps the most amazing project completed to date was dedicated just before the start of the 2017 fair – the 100,000 square foot Paso Robles Pavilion, located on the northeast side of the fairgrounds. To say the 4-H and FFA kids and their animal projects benefited from this new addition to the fair is an understatement.
The original building was from the 1950’s and had become inadequate, according to Heritage Foundation Board Member Brenda Fletcher. “We’d wanted to do a project like this since 2008, and we were finally able to take on the financial aspects and make it a
reality,” she said. “The kids deserve this and that is always our goal.”
The Pavilion also built a resurgence in interest about the Heritage Foundation, according to Belmont. “A lot of people saw the building, went inside it, noticed what we had accomplished and wanted to know more about what we do so they became members and are working alongside us now.”
Thank you to all of the CMSF Heritage Foundation members for your dedication, determination, and deep commitment to our
local community!