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Cowboy Ball nets $25,000 for fairgrounds

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POLSON — The clouds blew away and the sun shone on the Polson Fairgrounds just in time for hundreds of folks to enjoy the Cowboy Ball on Friday night under the big top tent. The annual fundraiser, put on by the non-profit group Polson Fairgrounds, Inc., supports the Lake County-owned facility near the Polson airport.

“We had wonderful attendance this year; almost sold out of 400 tickets,” said PFI Secretary Una Rose Graham. “And the weather cleared up for us. (It) was a great night.”

The live and silent auctions — which included everything from piglets to a picnic set — brought in about $18,500. Fifty-seven people signed up to be Annual Sponsors at $200 each, bringing in $11,400. Cheers, Etc. donated half the bar proceeds after their expenses, and other miscellaneous income brought the total to almost $47,000, according to Graham. After subtracting $22,000 in expenses for the tent rental, tables, chairs, etc., catered dinner by Hog Boss Catering, Shodown Band, the auctioneer plus other minor expenditures, the group netted around $25,000 for the fairgrounds.

“We are very pleased with the whole outcome, so thankful for the great community support and certainly happy that we can put on an event that is not only a great fundraiser for our local fairgrounds facility, but also a fun event for those who attend,” Graham said. “We’ve heard nothing but positive comments about the evening. (We) have many who come every year, and others who were there for the first time and totally enjoyed themselves.”

Funds generated from the banquet are used for repairs and improvements on the Polson facility. 

“The money stays right here in our valley,” Graham said. “We don’t have administrative fees.”

Although the Polson Fairgrounds is owned by Lake County, the site doesn’t receive any annual tax dollars from the County; the fairgrounds tax on residents’ property taxes all go to the Ronan Fairgrounds site. 

“The Polson Fairgrounds is totally supported by the community’s donations and support, and by the volunteers who get the repairs and improvements accomplished,” Graham said. This year the main expenditure is to replace the old announcers booth at the arena, “which is barely still standing. And of course, there’s always other repairs to do on this facility, just like any farm/ranch/home, fences, barns, corrals, etc. — weather and age takes its toll on things and (they) need to be replaced.”

Graham said they are always in need of new members who have some extra time and are willing to give them a hand.

With the Mission Mountains as its backdrop, Polson Fairgrounds is the venue for many local events, including the award-winning Mission Mountain NRA Rodeo and the Flathead River INFR Rodeo. Other outdoor uses include the 4th of July fireworks show, high school cross-country meets, 4H events and concerts. 


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