Crow Wing County Fair 2012


The 2012 Crow Wing County Fair was the biggest and best ever! Our pirate-themed Black Pearl sailed for the second year and again was the biggest draw at the fair. We were featured on the front page of the BRAINERD DISPATCH on July 31, 2012, in a story written by Jennifer Stockinger, that went into great detail about Local 663 and the employers we represent (Cub Foods in Brainerd and Baxter, Pequot Lakes Super Valu, Super One in Baxter and Crosby, and S.A.V.E. Foods Brainerd) and the relationship we have. Rather than “locking horns” with one another we try instead to promote each other and our union grocery industry in the Brainerd lakes area.
Again fairgoers enjoyed the fun atmosphere that surrounds the Black Pearl with grocery gift card giveaways from our union stores every two hours, and the free snacks and Mardi Gras type beads that are handed out, and of course the big 6:00 p.m. drawing each day at which we gave away a gas grill or chest freezer with a $100.00 gift card, again to the union grocery stores mentioned earlier.
However, we did have one “patriotic” new addition to our Black Pearl theme this year, which was the idea of Local 663 President Ray Sawicky. Last winter when we were talking about fair preparations for this summer Ray made the comment that he would like to do something special because this would be his last fair before retiring in the spring of 2013. Ray said, “We have always recognized the military and troops during drawings at the fair and I want to do something special for the men and women of the military this year, something more than just verbally thanking them.” And that was the beginning of what would become a special effort to raise money for the military families in the Brainerd Lakes area.
Local 663 purchased two flat screen TVs and a Blu-ray player. They were set up on a special display and fairgoers could purchase two chances to win for $1.00. Ray called upon Steve Gooderum, a retired Cub meat cutter and former executive board member who served two tours in Vietnam and was combat wounded, to come to the fair and work our new booth. Steve, with the help of current executive board members Doug Dehmer and Paul Henry (both of Fresh Seasons Market), and Mary Schmidt (of Rainbow Foods) explained to the crowds that 100% of the money raised from this drawing would go to the Brainerd VFW in the form of grocery gift cards purchased from our union grocery stores which would in turn be distributed to military families around the Brainerd area.
The big drawing for the flat screen TVs and Blu-ray player for the military was held Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Before the drawing was held the VFW color guard, accompanied by Army National Guard Red Bull members, marched “the Colors” from the main entrance of the fairgrounds to our booth, literally shutting down the fair. The color guard and Red Bulls played “Taps” and did a full rifle shot salute, and they also demonstrated how the American flag is unfolded and refolded when being presented to family members of American soldiers who have died. You could have heard a pin drop, and there were many faces in the huge crowd with tears running down them.
It truly was a spectacular ending to an amazing week at the Crow Wing County Fair. The final dollar amount raised was over $3,400.00. After I told Chris Quisberg, President of S&R Quisberg, Inc. (Cub Brainerd, Baxter, and Pequot Lakes Super Valu) that I’d be purchasing $1,300.00 worth of gift cards for the VFW, Chris told me without missing a beat that he would match our $1,300.00 to bring the total amount for the military to over $4,700.00! THANKS CHRIS!
I would be remiss if I didn’t give a big THANK YOU to all the executive board members and staff who put in long hours and a lot of hard work to make this event run as smoothly as it does!

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