Lopez and Orban selected as fair ambassadors

By: 
Hannah Gross

Lara Lopez

Hannah Gross

NLJ Correspondent

 

The Weston County Fair has been around for 81 years, and this year fairground manager Kara Fladstol is bringing the Fair Ambassador Program to the 2019 Weston County Fair. 

Lara Lopez and Leo Orban, longtime fair participants, have been chosen as the 2019 Weston County Fair Ambassadors.

“Lara and Leo are good choices for the program because they represent both FFA (Future Farmers of America) and 4-H, and they represent a wide variety of projects and programs,” Fladstol said. She explained that Lopez has been involved with events such as fashion and fabric, shooting sports, presentation contests and many different animal contests. Orban is also highly involved because he has participated in FFA, shooting sports, sports fishing and gardening, and he is an active teen leader for 4-H, Fladstol said. 

“They (Lopez and Orban) also both have excellent work ethic, great academic records, a desire to help the community and a willingness to be of service,” Fladstol said. 

The two ambassadors will be responsible for handling interviews with the Country Twins radio station of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, during fair week, and Fladstol hopes to have KASL radio involved as well. 

“The main objective of the program is the advertising and promotion of participation in fair or coming down to check out all the hard work our county has put into their projects or just to come down and experience all there is to do,” Fladstol said. “I am very proud of the program and the youth who were chosen this year.”

“We started this program in Weston County because it allows the youth to get out into the community to help people enter in fair, advertise for new fair events and be a resource for all participants of fair,” Fladstol said. The program offers a $500 scholarship to each ambassador, as well as matching polos and jackets, along with the coverage of travel expenses.

Candidates had to fill out a “rigorous” application that included a commitment to the program, a “positive attitude” toward their responsibilities, dedication to the purpose of the fair and a “willingness to work well with people of all levels.” 

“Being an ambassador is new to me, and I am learning as I go. To me, it’s informing the people about fair and helping others,” Lopez said.

Applicants had to send in a typed cover letter, resume, list of fair projects and a letter of recommendation before moving on to the interview. In order to qualify for this position, applicants had to be of high school age, attend school and live in Weston County. 

“I applied for this position because I believe that I can help promote fair. I would like to help others in the community be involved as well,” Lopez said. Orban said that his FFA adviser suggested the idea to him and that’s why he applied, also noting that it gave him something to do for the summer. 

“It is a fun experience,” Orban said.

Their duties started on April 1 of this year and will end on Aug. 15, with fair week running from July 20 to Aug. 4, according to the application. 

“Ambassadors must be friendly, dedicated, committed, cooperative, and punctual. They must be willing to perform the duties described below to the fullest degree and strive for self-improvement at all times,” the application says. “The Weston County Fair staff desires to promote the ambassador program and provide as many fulfilling opportunities for each ambassador’s personal growth.”

The role of an ambassador is to represent the Weston County Fair and to help promote and advertise its events in a number of different ways, including giving educational tours about the fair to the community’s youth and elderly, along with many other things, according to the application. They will meet with community groups and boards across the county, media outlets, schools and day cares, as well as participate in all community events that promote the fair.

“To increase fair participation across all demographics, especially those considered millennials, there needs to be an increased awareness that ‘fair is for everyone,’” Fladstol said. 

Ambassadors are required to attend one Weston County commissioners meeting for introduction purposes, as well as attend fair board meetings. They must exhibit a “polite and gracious” behavior because they are “role models representing the Weston County Fair.” 

Both ambassadors gave reasons for why they think the Weston County Fair is important.

“Fair is important because 1) it brings the community together; 2) it makes good memories for the people attending it; 3) it is a good way to show off your projects and other items and livestock,” Orban said.

Lopez likewise thought it was important.

“Fair is important because it is a learning experience. I learn so much and have become more responsible over the years,” Lopez said. “I also have fun at fair.”

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