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The Wisconsin Association of Fairs announced statewide award winners at their annual convention January 10, 2018 in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. These recipients of the Volunteer Group Appreciation Award, V.I.P. Award, Outstanding Fair Person Award, and Hall of Fame Award were recognized for their outstanding commitment to Wisconsin Fairs and contributions made to each of their county and district fairs.


Hall of Fame Awards

Fair board or county fair committee members active more than 12 years are eligible for the Hall of Fame Award. This year’s winners include:
  • District One: Adeline Hess, Langlade County Fair. Adeline has served at the fair for a long time. How long you may ask? Well, she has attended our WAF convention every year all the way back to when they were held in Milwaukee and Chuck Waterman’s daughter was just a baby. In addition to being a board member, she served as the treasurer for the fair for over 25 years. After retiring and having just one year off from the board, Adeline ran and was elected to the board again. Adeline has truly become an icon to the Langlade County Fair. She is the go to person when you need to remember what or how something was done. Actually, Adeline is the “go-to” person for all areas of the fair.
  • District Three: Harold Seebecker, Juneau County Fair. Harold has served on the Juneau County Fair Board for over 35 years, but has been involved in the fair for over 60 years. He started out as a 4-H and FFA Exhibitor himself. Then, he became a father of 7, and he made sure that all 7 of his kids also showed at the fair. Harold has served as a fair board director, fair board president and is now serving as the board’s vice president. Harold spends countless hours making sure the grounds are kept up including general maintenance, clean-up work, and even takes on those jobs that no one else wants to do. During the fair, he is the go to person when something needs to get done. Harold is the heart of the Juneau County Fair.
  • District 4: Carl Schaumberg, Outagamie County Fair. Carl has been a member of the fair association for 37 years and has been a fair board member for the last 29 years. He has served as a director, vice president, president, and is currently fair board secretary. Carl’s involvement of the fair is year-round. He is always working to improve the fair, and he is at the fairgrounds working on projects. Sometimes the board wonders if Carl even sleeps during the month of July because he is always there. When he isn’t physically working on a project of his own, he’s helping someone else with what they are doing. His free time, if you can call it that, is often spent online doing research for equipment and other items that can advance the fair. Rather than ask what has Carl done for the fair, the better question is “What hasn’t Carl done for the Outagamie County Fair?” He is truly a leader by example.

Outstanding Fair Person Awards

The Outstanding Fair Person Award is awarded to a fair board or county fair committee member active 12 years or less. Recipients include:
  • District 1: Sara Knoespel, Waupaca County Fair. Sara’s love for the fair began as a youth exhibiting at the fair. Sara is an Advisor to the 4-H Ambassador program, and the general leader of the Sandy Knoll 4-H Club. In 2001 Sara revived the Fairest of the Fair program at the Waupaca County Fair and was selected to be the fairest that year. After her term as Waupaca County’s Fairest, she went on to serve as the coordinator for the program in Waupaca County. In addition to working with her fairest, Sara is also the Superintendent of the Foods Project and Foods Revue for the fair. Sara has attended convention every year since 2001 giving the Waupaca County Fairest support and attending fairest coordinator workshops and networking sessions. In 2016 Sara ran for an open position on the fair board and was overwhelmingly elected. After her election to the board, Sara has become secretary and is the right hand helper for the new fair manager.
  • District 2: Joel Carr, Dunn County Fair. Joel has served the Dunn County Fair for eleven years, being a board member and vice president of the Fair Board. Before Joel was appointed to the fair board he served as poultry superintendent. With Joel’s personal experience owning the fresh French fry stand at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair and managing the fresh French fry stand at the Minnesota State Fair, he was a natural fit for overseeing the food court and free stage at the Dunn County Fair. Joel has also helped with the grandstand events, youth exhibit set-up, general maintenance, set-up and tear-down at the fair. During his time with the fair, Joel has served as a member of the WAF Showcase Committee for several years. He is really a jack of all trades.
  • District 3: Nicole Vlasak, Elroy Fair. Nicole began her work at the Elroy fair in the FFA Food Stand. She later served as the Elroy Fairest of the Fair and continued to volunteer at the fair until she officially became a board member in 2015. Nicole is on the public relations, fairest of the fair and hospitalities committees. Nicole has a work ethic that makes it impossible for her to sit still, so in reality she really is active in all areas of the Elroy Fair. Nicole has attended convention since 2013, and while she is not officially a committee member, her fiancé’ is and so she also helps the Special Projects Committee with the activities and decorations.
  • District 4: David Adams, Walworth County Fair. David has served on the Walworth County Fair Board for 11 years. When David first joined the Fair Board, he was ready and willing to jump in and get right to work. Little did he know that his first pre-fair issue would have him standing in waist-deep water, searching for an infield drain tile solution. He went in feet first. David takes part in all aspects of planning the fair. When it comes to the fair itself, he can be found almost anywhere or everywhere on the fairgrounds. Currently, David is serving as fair board president and has demonstrated his leadership skills by setting and achieving goals such as completion of a strategic plan, hiring a general fair manager, expanding and improving the horse area, and the list could go on and on.


V.I.P. Awards

The V.I.P. Award is presented to a non-fair board member or non-committee member with no specific length of service. This year’s winners include:
  • District 2: Carolyn Dostal and Joyce Nelson, Barron County Fair. Both Carolyn and Joyce have served as a superintendent for over 50 years each. That gives them a combined length of service of over 100 years. Carolyn and Joyce have gone above and beyond whatever, wherever and whenever it was needed. This has included serving on any committee they have been asked to be on, feeding animals, covering duties in the youth building, and even dressing like a clown and painting faces at our fair. Carolyn and Joyce truly have been real advocates for the Barron County Fair.
  • District 3: Shannon Miller, Elroy Fair. Shannon became involved with the Elroy fair when her oldest son began exhibiting at the fair. She gets her whole family involved in volunteering at the fair. Clerking during the livestock sale, organizing fundraising auctions, securing donations, and organizing raffles are just a few of the many hats that Shannon wears. Not only does she organize the raffles from start to finish, but Shannon and her family have also sold more tickets than anyone else since she began volunteering.
  • District 4: The late Karen Schmidt, Dodge County Fair. Karen was involved with the Dodge County Fair for 49 years. Karen served as a clothing superintendent, but a better description for her would be an “all around” fair volunteer. She would jump in and assist wherever help was needed before, during or after the fair. Karen was an enthusiastic fair supporter and promoter who always kept the fair’s educational value of the fair as the focus of her fair promotions. She was the definition of a team player who always had a positive outlook and attitude. Karen had some health issues and passed away two days after the 2017 Dodge County Fair. She will be greatly missed.


Volunteer Group Appreciation Award

The Volunteer Group Appreciation Award is presented to a true voluntary group that receives no monetary compensation for the volunteer service. This year’s winner is:
  • The Volunteer Group Appreciation Award is presented to the Dale Wood Family from District 2. Anyone who knows the Wood Family knows the fair is their passion. The family works on the grounds before the fair begins. During the fair, they work tirelessly to make sure everything runs smoothly. After the fair they are there cleaning up long after everyone else has gone home. They sacrifice their own time and energy beginning weeks before the fair and weeks after it is over. The Wood Family are proud supports of 4-H, FFA and the fair and they work hard throughout the year to make sure that the fair happens.

Associate Member Hall of Fame Award

The Associate Member Hall of Fame Award is presented to an Associate Member who has gone above and beyond the traditional role of volunteering and sharing talents for the betterment of fairs throughout the State of Wisconsin. These individuals are passionate not only for their local fairs but also for all 76 County, District, and State Fairs throughout the state of Wisconsin. This year the Wisconsin Association of Fairs honors Nick Dattilo.

Nick Dattilo was born and raised in Kenosha WI and spent most of his life here. He now spends the winter months in sunny Florida. Nick has been in the entertainment business for 30 years, and a proud member of the WI Association of Fairs for almost 20 years.
He started his career as the owner of The Class of 62 Band. A 50's and '60s show band, performing at many WI fairs and festivals throughout the Midwest.

In the late '90s, Nick and his wife Kim, had an idea to produce and perform a children's musical show, called Nicks Kids Show. They tour the entire Midwest and southern states during the summer and fall, and Florida in the winter. He is also MC for different events at many fairs, including the WI State Fair Amateur Talent Contest. Nick has been an avid supporter of the Wisconsin Association of Fairs volunteering his time and talent.

Friend of the Fairs Award

The Wisconsin Association of Fairs annually acknowledges an individual who has gone above and beyond the traditional role of volunteering and sharing talents for the betterment of fairs throughout the State of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Association of Fairs proudly presents our 2017 Friend of the Fair Award to Bill Marohl of the Vernon County Fair.

Our Friend of the Fairs recipient has truly been a friend, not just of their fair, but also to fairs across the state as well as the Wisconsin Association of Fairs. A definition of Friend includes: "A Person whom one knows well, close acquaintance, a person on the same side in a struggle - an ally. A true supporter. Someone that is though as helpful, reliable, just there." You will all agree that our recipient is a true friend of the fairs.

What you may not know is that our recipient does a lot of behind the scenes work for the association. All of our convention attendees have seen his work, but not many know who makes it happen. He has worked late at night and early in the morning and throughout the day. Our recipient is willing to step right in and do anything he can to help. He is responsible for setting up the signs outside of each room as well as sponsor signs that you see throughout convention. He is the sign guy. He has also stepped in to help with the setup of the Fairest and IAFE displays and that is just to name a few of the things that he has done.

After Bob Williams passed away last year, we all know that he left big shoes to fill. And while no one will ever quite "measure up" to Bob, our recipient stepped in to do many (if not most) of the jobs that Bob did here at convention without even being asked. He wasn't looking to replace Bob, but rather step in to help keep everything happening and the association moving forward just as Bob did all along.

He has served as a district 3 director twice--serving as vice president, and then as president of the association for 2 years. He currently serves as the chair of the audit committee.



Each year the Wisconsin Association of Fairs recognizes Fair Members that have gone above and beyond in the fair industry. Applications are due October 1 if mailed or October 15 if e-mailed to info@wifairs.com.

Please consider entering members from your fair the following categories:
  • V. I. P. Award: Awarded to an individual or couple (any two people) non-fair board member/non-committee member, no specific length of service required.
  • Outstanding Fair Person Award: Awarded to fair board/county fair committee member being active 12 years or less.
  • Hall of Fame Award: Awarded to fair board/county fair committee member based on 12 years or more of active service.
  • Volunteer Group Appreciation Award: Awarded to a true volunteer group that receives no monetary compensation for the volunteer service. Only one overall winner selected unlike the other categories where one per district is awarded.
Each individual selected will receive appropriate recognition at the annual convention.

Please use the Award Form below for your official entry.


This award recognizes a Wisconsin Association of Fairs (WAF) Associate member (business or individual) that has, and continues to contribute to the success of the Fair industry in Wisconsin. Please use the link below to nominate an Associate Member you feel is worthy of this special recognition. Completed forms are due by October 1 if mailed and October 15 if e-mailed. Submit to the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, 5320 County Road F, Merrill, WI 54452 or info@wifairs.com.

Please provide a supporting statement of 250 words or less, as to why the nominee should be selected as the recipient of the award. If selected, your statement may be used during the presentation of the award. You may use the remaining space on this application or on one additional page.


  • Nominee may be living or deceased.
  • Nominee shall be a present or past Associate Member of WAF.
  • All Fair Members and Associate Members of WAF are encouraged to nominate an Associate member who has supported the WAF and the Wisconsin Fair Industry.
  • Nominations will be held over for a three (3) year period with the approval of the Fair/Associate that nominated them.
  • The WAF state board will review all nominations received to select the recipient(s).
  • An Award is not required to be given each year. The number of awards presented is at the discretion of the WAF state board.
  • Selection of the recipient will be announced at the WAF annual convention at the Opening Session on Monday morning.
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