New organization to support local fair
April 6 event kicks off activities
A new group has been formed — Porterville Fair Heritage Association — to help make improvements at the new fairgrounds.
The group’s coming out party will be a gala affair on Saturday, April 6 featuring comedian Jackie Kashian.
“It’s a new creative approach to fundraising and to help create an event,” said Porterville Fair Executive Director Susie Godfrey.
The Association was formed in late 2012.
“The Heritage Association is dedicated to supporting the Porterville Fair so that it may continue to be an exemplary multi-use community resource,” a press release states.
The committee that operates under the direction of the fair board, is comprised of about 15 people, most of whom have had some contact with the fair in the past, but are not mainstays of the fair every year, explained Sammie Duysen, co-chair of the group along with Kathy Arnold.
“We all love the fair and want to see it move forward,” said Duysen.
She explained the purpose of the group is to raise funds in order to make improvements on the new grounds on West Teapot Dome Avenue. The fair moved into that new home two years ago and has been making improvements as time and funds allow. Duysen said one good example is a goal to replace the outdated sound system that was brought over from the old fairgrounds.
“We are there to raise funds for improvements to the fairgrounds for the kids and the community,” said Duysen, adding it is not to pay off any debt.
The Association was the idea of Fair Board president Mitch Brown and each member of the board nominated people to serve.
Duysen, who once showed at the fair and had two daughters who show livestock at the fair, said all of those making up the Association have had some contact, either as an exhibitor, parent or volunteer at the fair in the past.
She said the goal of the first event, which will be held in the Heritage Hall of the new fairgrounds, is to raise more than $20,000.
The “'Fair'ly Spectacular Evening — Hollywood Hits P’town Benefit Dinner” will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour.
The gourmet dining will be provided by Fugazzis of Visalia and served at 7 p.m.
Kashian has been a national touring comic for more than 15 years. She has her own half-hour special on Comedy Central, was a semi-finalist on “Last Comic Standing” and has been on “This American Life” with Ira Glass.
Her latest CD, “It is Never Going to Be Bread” was one of the top 10 comedy albums on Amazon in 2010. She has a weekly podcast where she interviews people about their obsessions.
According to her website, Kashian said she “got drunk and heckled Sam Kinison in Madison, Wis. She was told, by management, that open mike night was on Sundays. Just three weeks later she did open mike. Proof that that was not a black-out drunk night.”
She lives in Los Angeles and works the road about 25 weeks a year.
Limited reservations are available at $100 per person. A reserved table of eight is $900.
Black tie optional and dancing with a dee-jay will round out the evening.