Grand Island, NE – The Nebraska State Fair 1868 Foundation hosted its annual Meeting of the Trustees and Honorary Reception Thursday evening in Grand Island. The 1868 Foundation Board of Directors presented the 2017 Lifetime Friend of the Fair Award to Tony Wald of Grand Island.
“It is a great privilege to honor Tony with the Lifetime Friend of the Fair Award. His commitment to the continued success of the state fair with the naming rights to the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena will has forever changed the footprint of both the fair and foundation.” said Jayne Mann, chairman of the board of the Nebraska State Fair 1868 Foundation.
“There has been no greater accomplishment for the 1868 Foundation than the construction of the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena and we couldn’t have accomplished this goal without his support and the support of the Thompson Food Company.” said Lindsey Koepke, executive director.
“His actions created a momentum for our organization that will allow us to continue to do great things for the state fair and its facilities for many years to come.” said Mann.
“He recognized the significance of this project and wanted to give back to the community that has been so good to him and we couldn’t be more proud that he selected the 1868 Foundation as the catalyst for his goodwill.” said Koepke.
The Lifetime Friend of the Fair Award was created in 2004 as a way to honor those who have had impact on both the Nebraska State Fair and the 1868 Foundation.
The Board of Trustees for the 1868 Foundation unanimously reappointed Dan Kunnemann of Imperial, Jayne Mann of Aurora, Eddie Biwer of Omaha and Ken Staab and Jay Vavricek both of Grand Island to serve another three year term on the Nebraska State Fair 1868 Foundation Board of Directors.
“We are so fortunate to have such a talented group of individuals serving on the board of directors.” Mann said.
“As we continue to strengthen our efforts and look to future for opportunities for growth, we will rely greatly on these individuals to keep the positive moment we are seeing moving in the right direction.” Said Koepke
The 1868 Foundation also honored Donna and Dori Wanitschke of Grand Island with the annual 1868 Society Award. “Donna and Dori have a long history of supporting the Nebraska State Fair. “They make their State Fair a family affair which makes it such an honor to recognize them for all they have done to better our organization.” said Koepke.
The purpose of the Nebraska State Fair 1868 Foundation is to secure private funds and resources for improvements, renovations and revitalizations for the Nebraska State Fair. We are a charitable 501(c)(3) organization. For more information about the Nebraska State Fair 1868 Foundation, visit www.statefair.org/1868.