EATON — The annual Pie and Cake auction at the Preble County Fair raised approximately $5,555 for exhibitors and improvements to the Produce Barn.
Part of the total included a new Elected Officials section, which raised $1,800 and will go directly into funding renovations for the Produce Barn. The remainder of the funds ($3,755) will be split 50/50 between funding the Produce Barn and the exhibitors.
According to Baked Goods Committee Member Rachael Vonderhaar, the new category was brainstormed by former State Representative Jeff Rezabek, who thought it was a good way to raise additional funds.
“It was strictly a fundraiser for the barn and a lot of fun for them to compete against each other. It was a dessert category, so any type of dessert they could put in the category. You could be a current or past elected official to participate,” Vonderhaar said.
“It was a lot of fun tonight and we appreciate all the elected officials who participated. The [normal] competition was 50 percent to the barn and 50 percent to the baker. Places one through three automatically sells through the competition, and past that they have the option if it sells or if it goes to the $10 table.”
She added, the produce barn is the oldest building on the fairgrounds. To show how much work the building needed, the committee came together to remove the bay area and lower roof areas to get an idea of “the bones of the barn.” The auction was then held inside the barn so those who were bidding could see where their money would go.
Preble County Auditor Lavon Wright was the top bid recipient.
“It was something to do a fundraiser for the building we’re sitting in. I made a chocolate mayonnaise cake and homemade caramel icing. It ended up placing Showman of the Day, first place,” Wright said.
“I feel like history is very important and if we can preserve and restore this building, I think history is a very important part of keeping life preserved. This is my first time to do this and it was just fun.”
“I did this auction several years ago and it was beautiful, we had a good time. We need to renovate this building, it is getting old and has been here for several years. I think its great [that the officials participated] and it helps everybody. I do a lot of charity auctions,” Tom Hounfaell said.
“I’m here to help the kids out. We were involved in 4-H for years and we just never miss this. I know how well the kids in our 4-H club did and I would like to go for theirs, but it doesn’t matter. We love this,” Kim Barney said. “This is the most majestic building on the fairgrounds lot. This, to me, just says fair. The rest of the fairgrounds looks awesome and now they need to do this building.”
According to Vonderhaar, this year, the pies and cakes sold for higher and they had a “full house” of bidders.
“Normally the gross is around $2,000-$2,500 and then split [between exhibitor and barn], so sales were up over all. This year, $5,555 was the gross. Approximately $1,800 from elected officials so 100 percent to the building fund. Then the balance is a 50/50 split with the baker and barn,” she said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH