Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, CEO of the State Fair of West Virginia, wrapped up her term as the 2013 Chair for International Association of Fairs and Expositions, on Dec. 9-12, at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. While there, the IAFE celebrated the efforts of fairs worldwide for raising a total of 6,005,069 pounds of food.
At last year’s IAFE gathering, Jolliffe challenged IAFE members to “Dream Big” and showcase how agricultural fairs impact their community’s social issues by feeding the hungry through a food drive.
Of the 1,100 IAFE members, nearly 200 fairs answered that call and held a food drive during their own annual fairs, some during non-fair events and activities at their grounds, as well as during board meetings and other gatherings. All food and cash donations raised will benefit each respective fair’s local community, designated to one or more organizations feeding those who are food-insecure.
At the 2013 State Fair of West Virginia, fair officials joined with First Energy for “Magic Monday” and generated 20,000 pounds of food through a gate discount promotion. Employees of First Energy, The State Fair of West Virginia, and Reithoffer Shows, manned the entrance gates and coordinated the donations of nonperishable food items
“Serving as Chair of The International Association of Fairs and Expositions was an incredible opportunity that allowed me to share my vision of the importance of measuring the social impact of fairs, and I was honored to watch it come to life as fairs around the world joined together to feed the hungry!”, said Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, CEO.
The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) is a voluntary, not-for-profit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. Its associate members include state and provincial associations of fairs, non-agricultural expositions and festivals, associations, corporations, and individuals engaged in providing products and services to its members, all of whom are interested in the improvement of fairs and allied fields. For more information, visit www.fairsandexpos.com.