The Merrill Award, named in honor of Western Fairs Association Founder Louis Merrill, is given for those fairs that clearly demonstrate innovation, vision, and excellence.
According to Sandy Woods, the former president of the Nevada County Fairgrounds, the Nevada County Fairgrounds was named the winner of the 2016 Merrill Award on Wednesday night at the association’s convention in Reno. Other finalists were the fairs in Marin, Orange County, Fresno and San Diego.
“The Nevada County Fair won the Merrill Award tonight! Awesome! I’m so delighted with the tremendous acknowledgement of our great staff and marvelous community,” Sandy wrote on her Facebook page. “I’m so proud! We’re blessed!”
The background on the Nevada County Fairgrounds’s nomination is here: “The Nevada County Fairgrounds had been nominated for their Community Involvement Day,” according to the Western Fairs Association website.
“After years of incorporating community giving into the fair lineup, the Nevada County Fairgrounds decided that they could better showcase their partner charities by providing a separate Community Involvement Day,” the nomination read. “By creating a special donation opportunity a week prior to the annual fair, the Fairgrounds connected the community directly with local charities like never before.
“The Foodbank of Nevada County, Foothill Lion’s Club, Nevada County 2-1-1 (school supplies donations), and the Story Club of Nevada County (book donations) were among the charities who participated in the Community Involvement Day. Community participants received ‘buy one get one free’ fair admission tickets in exchange for donations, and those who gave blood to BloodSource received one free fair admission ticket each.
As a thank you for their community’s participation, the Fairgrounds has given out over 2300 vouchers.”