Exchange Club, volunteers come together to make fair success

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Ferris wheel has made its last spin, the Midway kitchen hasturned out its last funnel cake and the last Speedball pitch hasbeen thrown.

Like the train that encircles the annual attraction, the BrookhavenExchange Club Fair has pulled into the station for good for2010.

More than a week of food, fun and fellowship concluded Saturday asweary club members and volunteers sent the final fairgoers home,many no doubt with smiles on their faces and fond memories in theirhearts. And for many of the thousands of visitors this past week,the fair epitomizes small community living at its best.

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“It’s just part of being from Lincoln County,” said Exchange ClubPresident Ted Ratcliff. “It’s an opportunity to get out there andfellowship. Even if you’re not a ride-rider or going up and downthe Midway, we’ve got a lot of people who just come out to visitand have a good time.”

While the week’s focus is on ensuring people have a good time, noneof it would be possible without the dedicated efforts of theBrookhaven Exchange Club itself and the army of volunteers whoassist with manning the kitchen, game booths and rides.

The club’s approximately 60 members work for weeks ahead of timelining up prizes, cleaning up the park and making sure the ridesare in working order. And then club members take their nightlyposts during the week of the fair.

Joining them are around 100 relatives of members and friends of theclub who willingly give their time to make the fair the success itis each year. Some members of other local civic organizations havebeen known to take specific nights to handle particular fairduties.

And local law enforcement and medical personnel deserveappreciation for their contributions to ensuring the safety andwell being of fairgoers.

Without the volunteer efforts of many, an annual highlight ofsummer and traditional signal that back to school time is nearwould be gone. And lost would be an event that helps make LincolnCounty the special place it is.