21, Mar
Virgil & Peggy Meyers Family donates $25,000 to Muscatine County Fair event center project

West Liberty, IA– Representatives of the Muscatine County Fair met with the family of Virgil & Peggy Meyers last week to receive a $25,000 donation for the new event center the fair board plans to build in 2025.  The Meyers’s live and farm south of West Liberty, and have participated in the fair their entire life.  Virgil and Peggy have three sons, Joe (Cindy) Meyers, Mike (Pam) Meyers, and Matt (Marcy) Meyers, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Peggy said they are supporting the project for many reasons, but mainly to help the fair grow.

“The old Activity Center has served its purpose,” said Mrs. Peggy Meyers.  “We would like to see a new building to support future generations, including our great grandchildren.”

The Meyers have a long history with the fair.  Virgil’s mother, Evelyn Askam Meyers, was a charter member of the Wapsi Girls 4-H Club and she participated in the fair as a young girl until shortly before her passing. Virgil attended the fair as a baby and started showing livestock, mostly cattle, when he joined 4H at the age of ten.  Virgil loved staying in the dormitory, as it fostered many friendships from people around the county.  He attended the fair every year until his passing in 2011.  Peggy met Virgil and attended her first fair in 1958 and hasn’t missed one since.  Peggy served as an open class superintendent of one of the needlework divisions, participated by entering baked goods and showed antiques for several years.  They feel fair benefits the entire community, but especially the youth.

“A strong county fair is very important,” said Meyers.  “The youth work hard all year.  It’s a commitment, and the fair allows them to showcase that work.  4-H & FFA projects teach responsibility and a good work ethic, something we feel is important. On top of that it is a good place to make lasting friendships.”

Virgil and Peggy passed their love and commitment for the fair down to their children and grandchildren.  All three boys have attended since they were babies and participated in showing livestock like their father, including sheep, pigs, and cattle.  Like many farm families, the fair was their “Summer Vacation”.  All eight grandchildren participated in the fair, and two granddaughters served as fair queen – one of those being Kelsey Meyers, the current Fair Manager.

“Serving as the Fair Manager has been a perfect fit,” said Kelsey Meyers.  “The fair has been my entire life, so when the position opened, I wanted the job and new I could do it.  The campaign to build a new event center on the fairgrounds is the largest project the fair has ever tackled, and it will be a game changer.  I’m so grateful to have the support of my family and their generous contribution.  It’s easier to raise money for something when you have your own money behind it.”

The fair board hopes to start construction later this year on a brand new, 500-person capacity facility.  Currently, there is nothing within 45 miles of Muscatine County to support an event that size.  The modern facility will complement the architecture of the existing historic buildings on the grounds and will attract large weddings and family events.  The board also plan to pursue conferences and corporate meetings, and received a $500,000 gift from the Kent Corporation, headquartered in Muscatine, IA.  The $500,000 requires a match, which Meyers’ gift will go towards.  The Meyers family said they are extremely grateful for the Kent support.

“The fair has been a really big part of our family’s life,” said Peggy.  “We can’t imagine not going to the fair and participating.  We want to thank the Kent family for their generosity and let them know we greatly appreciate it.”


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