Civic Organizations Affected For Not Having A County Fair


(Le Mars) — Many of Le Mars’ civic organizations have food booths at the Plymouth County Fair as a means to raise money to be used for charitable donations, scholarships, and other community supported projects. Three of those local civic organizations are the Le Mars Kiwanis with its bakery, the Le Mars Rotary with its ice cream shop, and the Le Mars Optimists with their brats, turkey filet and rib-eye steak sandwiches. Mike Donlin serves as the president of the Le Mars Kiwanis club. He says although the organization will miss the revenue that would have been raised this year had the fair occurred, Donlin says the Kiwanis is fortunate to have past revenue that has been set aside in order to still make financial contributions.

Donlin says the focus for the Le Mars Kiwanis is to support programs that benefit children, and he talks about some of the many local projects that are funded through the Le Mars Kiwanis organization.

Donlin says with most years, the Kiwanis bakery with its donut and funnel cake sales can usually raise more than $10,000. Another civic organization with a big presence at the Pioneer Village as part of the Plymouth County Fair is the Le Mars Rotary organization. John Schneider is a past president of the local rotary, and serves as the manager of the Rotary ice cream shop. Schneider says like the Kiwanis, the Rotary has been able to save some money to be used for this next year for scholarships.

Schneider says the local Rotary Club has been able to continue holding their meetings despite the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Schneider says the group have met at the O’Toole Park during the lunch hour with everyone bringing a brown bag lunch. He says the money that has been saved from not hiring a caterer has been devoted to local food pantries and food banks.

The Le Mars Optimist Club, with its nearly 30 members, operates the filling station food stand located at Pioneer Village at the Plymouth County Fair. The Optimist raises money through its sales of bratwurst, turkey breast filet, and recently rib-eye steak sandwiches, and the kettle cooked popcorn. Todd Ellensohn is the president of the local Optimist chapter. He says the fair’s food stand is the only means of raising funds.

Ellensohn says the Optimists are hoping to be at the fair again next year, otherwise it will be difficult to sustain the organization and perform the many projects associated with the local Optimist club.