The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 19, 2013

Shrawders named Montour-DeLong fair outstanding ambassadors

Call to community service came in elementary school

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

— DERRY TWP. — Bart Shrawder can trace helping out at the Montour-DeLong Community Fair to his elementary school days.

He attended the DeLong Memorial School in Washingtonville where the fair was held at one time. “The older kids in school helped with the shelves at the fair,” he said.

He and his wife, Marge, were recently honored at the fair, now held near Washingtonville, as Outstanding Fair Ambassadors. The award was signed by Pennsylvania Agriculture Department Secretary George Greig.

“I thought the award was for him. I was surprised I was on it,” Marge said.

“We were treated like a king and queen the whole week,” she said of their volunteering the week of the fair in August.

Bart and Marge each have been members of the fair association for 50 years.

Bart, 78, was elected to represent Derry Township on the fair board in 1983. He was fair board vice president many years. “I served under seven presidents,” he said.

“Directors should be working directors,” said Bart who, along with Marge, volunteered in the kitchen and at the French fry stand.

Bart began volunteering in the kitchen when the fair association held pancake dinners.

They then were asked to take over the kitchen and French fry stand. “We knew nothing about cooking for 300 people or running a fair,” said Marge, adding they learned “with help.”

Besides cooking during fair week, they were in charge of 30 to 40 functions a year. “We had to get volunteers to help us,” said Marge, 73.

The events included a bowling banquet, FFA functions, public auctions and gun shows.

The Shrawders were in charge about 14 years. “We had a cook come from Florida every year for the fair for her vacation at no pay,” Marge said of the woman who did that for about five years.

At the French fry stand, they had as many as 80 volunteers, with some coming back night-after-night.

“If there weren’t any volunteers, there wouldn’t be any fair,” Marge said.

In recent years, they have been helping at the fair’s monthly fish suppers. Bart sells tickets and Marge sells donated items with proceeds benefiting the fair association.

At the most recent fair in August, they sold 50/50 tickets, quilt tickets, items made to benefit the fair and tickets for a handcrafted mirror that was chanced off. They also sold commemorative Christmas balls and cookbooks in observance of the fair’s 75th anniversary.

The fish dinner fundraisers resume Sept. 28 at the main fair building. A total of 35,000 suppers have been served with a top attendance of 980 in March of 2012, said Marge, who for many years also cleaned the main fair building.

For health reasons, Bart stopped serving as a fair director 13 years ago.

They enjoy helping out at the fair and plan to volunteer as long as they are able, said Bart, who is retired from Danville State Hospital. Until about 20 years ago, he also worked the family farm where another man now grows mostly corn and soybeans there.

Bart was active in other community organizations including Washingtonville Midget Baseball League where he was president 25 years and coached a couple of years. He was secretary of the Danville Moose Bowling League 35 years and coached a Danville women’s slow-pitch team two years. He and Marge are also 50-year Danville Family Moose members.

Bart is a life member of the Washies Fire Company, the Danville Rod and Gun Club and Hillside Rod and Gun Club.

The Shrawders have a daughter Sally Bainbridge of Liberty Township, a son Bart Jr. who lives nearby, a son, Robert, who lives with them and three grandchildren.