Over 80 association members, advisors and guests gathered to recap the Berrien County Youth Fair Association’s 2018-19 fiscal year last Tuesday night at the annual meeting held at the Youth Memorial Building. President Corey Burks welcomed everyone to the 74th Annual Meeting of the Berrien County Youth Fair Association, Inc. “Thanks to each and every board member, advisor, superintendent and volunteer for making 2019 BCYF a memorable year from beginning to end. Your hardwork and dedication leading up to BCYF and during made this a successful year to showcase our youth,” Burks said. He thanked the board of directors for their input and the contributions of the volunteers.
The minutes of the 2018 annual meeting were presented and approved. Susan Coulston, Board Treasurer, presented the annual financial report. She reported the Association’s total operating income of $1,435,702 and total operating expenditures of $1,340,028 resulting in an increase in unrestricted net assets of $93,674. Coulston said, “Another year of positive results to the bottom line is very encouraging. All obligations have been paid in full. The association remains in sound financial position.” The financial report was put on file for audit.
Secretary Karen Klug discussed BCYF year in review. Klug reported on non-fair events keeping the grounds busy from April through October. Four new roofs were completed during the fiscal year along with new sheep pens, a used John Deere 1570 front mount lawn mower and new pig show pens. The Berrien County Youth Fair was presented with a unique opportunity to open up the grounds for camping, overnight and overflow parking for the Motocross of Nations at Redbud Motocross in Buchanan at the beginning of October 2018. Three successful fundraising activities raised enough money to cover the premiums paid to youth exhibitors. Our 2019 BCYF theme was “Country Nights and Carnival Lights” and what a nice week it turned out to be! The weather forecast called for a few chances of rain, but none ever really came up. Our attendance was 101,383 (down 2,746 from 2018), 1,972 (down 162) exhibitors
and 10,692 (down 735) exhibits. Klug thanked all the volunteers and staff who make BCYF what it is with their passion and giving of their time and talents.
Each year six members of the Board of Directors are elected for a three-year term. The following were nominated and elected for a three-year term: Kelly Ewalt of Berrien Springs, Linda Shinsky of Niles, Les Smith of Niles, Dan Stacey of Berrien Springs, Tyson Lemon of Stevensville and Bob Mischke of St.
The Outstanding 20 Year-Old Exhibitor award winner was Kristen Clear of Niles. Selection of this award is based on a point system covering Youth Fair participation and volunteering other than Fair week over the last six years of exhibiting. Clear received a trophy and $300 scholarship award provided by the D. R. Potts Memorial Scholarship Fund. Second place and receiving a $200 scholarship award was Kristofer Crowder of Stevensville and third place and receiving a $100 scholarship award was Leah Wojahn of Stevensville.
The Friend of the Fair award was presented to Kevin Young. This award is given annually to those individuals, families, and/or businesses that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help with the many activities at the Youth Fair. A certificate of appreciation was also presented for Kathy Pullano, of
the Journal Era.
Following the Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors met to select officers for the 2019-2020 year.
2019-2020 Officers elected:
President, Corey Burks of Berrien Springs
First Vice President, Tiffany Rydwelski of Buchanan
Second Vice President, Kelly Ewalt of Berrien Springs
Secretary, Karen Klug of Eau Claire
Treasurer, Cathy Reifschneider of Stevensville
2020 Youth Fair Dates are August 17-22
2020 Fair Theme:
Diamonds are Fair-ever
75th Anniversary of the Berrien County Youth Fair