Town & Country Festival committee looking for funds 2.27

Written by David Green.

Morenci’s Town and Country Festival will go on as planned June 27-29, but what about the next year?

Festival committee members aren’t sure what’s in store for the future.

“We’re at a crossroads,” said committee member Barb Foss. “There might very well not be a festival next year.”

The group is looking for more volunteers, more ideas and more sources of revenue.

“We want the public to know that it costs from $10,000 to $15,000 annually,” Foss said, “and most of what we offer doesn’t pay a return.”

There’s no admission charged for fireworks, for example, and the cost of the show is around $5,000. A few thousand dollars are spent on bands and those are also offered free.

Foss said it’s difficult finding a carnival that will sign a contract without a guaranteed minimum profit. The agreements bring the festival little, if any, income.

“The rodeo was successful last year,” she said, “but we barely covered their fee.”

Foss says committee members approach the same local businesses over and over for donations and she knows there are limits to that endeavor, especially during the existing tough economy.

“We’re all very concerned,” she said. “We don’t know how we’re going to get more money.”

She said the committee is very open to listening to ideas, not only for fund raising but also for making the festival better. She’s certain there are people in the area with good ideas, but they seldom step forward to present them.

“They don’t have to take charge of it,” she said, “just give us the ideas.”

This year’s festival will take on more of a family day atmosphere on Sunday. There will be no mud bog, but a BMX bicycle race is planned. The chicken dinner might be moved to Sunday, also, she said.

“We’re going to try some different things to bring more people into the park.”

The festival committee works at Michigan International Speedway for all three races. With enough help, Foss said, those events are very big fund raisers.

The group is allotted space for 18 workers for each race. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. The committee is looking for people to work in at least one of the three races.

The committee meets at 7 p.m. on the third Sunday of the month. Anyone from the public is welcome to attend.

For more information or to offer services, call Foss at 517/458-2319 or Sue Snyder at 458-2047.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016