Local Fair Board Volunteers Receive State Recognition
Three Saline Community Fair board volunteers received state recognition at the 2024 Michigan Association of Fairs and Expositions (MAFE) annual convention held in January in Grand Rapids. Scott Diuble received a 2023 Heritage Award and Amanda Jedele was selected as the 2023 Youth Volunteer of the Year for all fairs across the state. Steve Thelen was recognized for his 12 years of service on the MAFE board.
Volunteers have always been the backbone of Michigan fairs and festivals and the Heritage Award recognizes those individuals who have had a significant influence for their fair and have offered more than a decade of service to their community. Scott Diuble (center in photo) spent his life growing up around the Saline Community Fair. He exhibited at the fair, participated in track events and helped his grandfather start the compact tractor pull. Since 1991 he has been a dedicated fair board director. He is currently the board president and served as vice president from 2008 – 2022. He has been involved in every aspect of the fair and chaired various committees and events. Scott has worked extra hours on getting the track ready for all the events that are held during fair week and recruits volunteers and runs the heavy equipment needed to make the track one of the best in Michigan. Scott is always thinking of ways to bring in more people to visit the fair as well as keeping operating cost achievable.
Volunteers are also the lifeblood of fairs and the Youth Volunteer of the Year award recognizes a volunteer’s overwhelming commitment in a single year. Amanda Jedele (right in photo) was named the overall Youth Volunteer of the Year for 2023 in recognition of her involvement and leadership in the fair As a new fair board member in 2023, Amanda volunteered to be the co-chair of the ambassador program. In 2023 she took on many more roles throughout the year from working on the parade committee to planning and creating the float to making sure our signage was correct and helping with various events and clean-up. Jacob Schaible was the Saline Community Fair Adult Volunteer of the Year. During 2023 he continued to coordinate the bleacher repair project, he has donated hundreds of hours of carpentry work around the farm council grounds, oversees gate supplies and works with the Saline Rotary Club to staff the entrance gates and works on various committees and activities for the fair. He also volunteered to represent the fair and interact with hundreds of school staff at the Saline Area Schools staff orientation program. He is also the assistant fair manager.
Steve Thelen (left in photo) was a dedicated member of the MAFE state board for the past twelve years. He has shared his expertise in many ways, including serving as the association president and board secretary for many years and chairing and/or volunteering on many committees over the years.
Sixteen of the Saline Community Fair board members attended the 2024 MAFE convention and/or banquet held in Grand Rapids. Those participating in the three days of convention sessions participated in many workshops and round table discussions relating to fair events and activities. The Saline Community Fair is looking forward to their 2024 fair, August 28 - September 1.
MAFE was established in 1865 and is a voice for the Michigan fair and festival industry. MAFE member fairs and festivals serve all 83 Michigan counties. Fairs are an economic and social asset to their communities and the state.
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