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Those who broke into the Taylor County Fairgrounds and stole more than $10,000 worth of equipment committed a crime against the entire community.
There's a feeling of violation that accompanies such a theft. So many of those who attend the fair each year are children, and crimes against children are especially vile.
Taylor County Fair Board members discovered the burglary one morning last week. Fair Board secretary Susan Seaborne said many items were taken in the burglary including radios, a new grill, an announcing system, crock pots, electrical cords, flag poles, propane tanks, decorations, cash registers, shovels, office supplies, coffee makers and more.
In addition to the theft, she said the burglars caused lots of damage.
Come on now, flag poles? Crock pots? This doesn't sound like the average theft. It sounds more like a deliberate act of destruction.
The Taylor County Fair Board is an all-volunteer organization. Its members have given untold numbers of hours to see that all the rest of us have a week of fun each summer.
But the Fair Board isn't just about fun. The Board also plans to provide college scholarships each year of at least $1,000 each to graduating seniors from both local high schools.
As with most local nonprofit organizations, there's never enough money to go around for all that's needed.
According to Fair Board President Mike Litchfield, an average of 10,000 admission fees brings in $100,000. The carnival gets half of that, he said, with the rest going for contest premiums, promotions, land lease fee, the fair catalog and advertising. Sponsors and other donations help pay for the rest of the expenses. However, he said, there have been years when the Board had to get a loan to pay all of its expenses. As a matter of fact, Litchfield said, the Board just paid off its last loan earlier this year.
The Fair Board is asking for anyone with information about the burglary to call the sheriff's office at 465-4351 or the anonymous Community Safe Line at 469-PRID(E).
We're asking anyone who might know something about the burglary to do the right thing. See to it that the Taylor County Fair continues.