LANCASTER – The Antelope Valley Fair has won the fair industry’s most coveted award, given by the Western Fairs Association (WFA), underscoring the local Fair’s leadership and commitment to community excellence.
The Fair’s inaugural 2019 “Kids Feeding Kids” program took home the prestigious WFA Merrill Award, named in honor of WFA founder Louis Merrill. The “Kids Feeding Kids” program was recognized for its community outreach, education and youth advocacy, during WFA’s annual Industry Awards Celebration last month in Reno, Nevada.
“The ‘Kids Feeding Kids’ program embodies our core values and community commitment that is at the heart of everything we do at the AV Fair & Event Center,” said AV Fair Association President Drew Mercy. “I applaud the Livestock Council, all the youth and volunteers who initiated and made the program work. I look forward to the program growing year after year.”
The prominence of local hunger was a key factor in launching the 2019 “Kids Feeding Kids” program. The program was created and initiated by the Antelope Valley Fair Livestock Council, with support from Los Angeles County, Trade Unions, local businesses, and community volunteers. The program is one hundred percent funded by donations and one hundred percent supported by volunteers. “Kids Feeding Kids” is dedicated to providing a healthy source of meat-based “farm to table” protein to the less fortunate who seek assistance from two of the Antelope Valley’s largest food banks, SAVES and Grace Resource Center.
The WFA Merrill Award is given to fairs that clearly demonstrate innovation, vision, and excellence. This is the second time the AV Fair has received the award. In 2004, the AV Fair shared the top honor with the Salinas Valley Fair in recognition of the new AV Fair facility.
The WFA represents fairs throughout the Western United States and Canada and recognizes excellence in the fair industry at its annual convention. WFA officials announced a record-breaking number of entries submitted this year, topping over 800 submissions. In addition to the Merrill Award, the AV Fair garnered six WFA Individual Achievement Awards.
“It’s an incredible honor to receive the Merrill Award, as well as the other WFA Achievement Awards,” said AV Fair Board Director and the “Kids Feeding Kids” co-founder Debbie Dino. “The 150 WFA Fair members are incredibly [innovative] and have countless inspiring programs.”
“My fellow Board Members, the staff and the hundreds of AV Fair volunteers work extremely hard all year, ensuring that our Fair is a unique and memorable experience for our fans,” Dino added. “We’re equally passionate about contributing to our community in meaningful ways that improve the quality of life for all of our residents, neighbors, and friends all year long.”
More information about the “Kid Feeding Kids” program is available on the AV Fair & Event Center website, avfair.com.
The AV Fair & Event Center also received top honors this year from the International Association of Fairs & Expositions. Below is a complete list of awards received.
2019 AV Fair Award-Winning Entries from the Western Fairs Association:
- Merrill Award: Kids Feeding Kids
- Gold Star Award: WFA Service Members
Individual Achievement Awards
- Fairtime Advertising Poster
- Outdoor Advertising Campaign
- Give It Your Best Shot – Animals
- Social Media Campaign
- Give It Your Best Shot – Entertainment
- New Event, Exhibit Program
2019 International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE) Hall of Honor awards:
- Mobile App
- Promotional Advertising: Outdoor
- Promotional Event
The 2020 AV Fair & Alfalfa Festival “SAAY WHAAAT?!” will take place August 21-30, 2020. For more information about the AV Fair & Event Center visit avfair.com.
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley Fair Association.]