By WILLIAM LUNDQUIST
GOLD BEACH Frustrated fair board member Les Walker spoke out at Monday nights meeting after leading the charge to fix the hole in the roof of the Youth Pavilion, and finding himself far out in front of the troops.
A large portion of the roof blew off in a winter storm several years ago. The hole may be patched for next weeks fair, if materials arrive in time, but the fix may hasten the ultimate demise of the rest of the roof and building.
Board member David Smith said the sheeting used to cover the hole will have to be fastened to what remains of the old roof with screws. Water will trickle into the building and accelerate the rusting, he said, even with rubber grommets around the screws.
Smith said only the tires on top of the remaining roof keep it from blowing away. We will have to move on the whole roof soon.
Thats exactly what Walker said he was trying to do, but he found himself pretty much alone.
Walker envisioned the 4-H Club spearheading fundraising needed to pay the $250,000 estimated to put on a new roof, pave the floor and put in a ventilation system. Hed hoped to reach more than 10,000 fairgoers with a booth at the fair featuring a video and other information on the plight of the building.
To that end, Walker had arranged for use of an airplane, a donation of production and air time from Charter Communications, and a car to raffle off.
The idea was to jump in and be ready for the fair, to show off the arena, the kids and the need to 10,000-12,000 people to precipitate funds, said Walker.
Hed also talked with Rotary Clubs about fundraising.
It has not come together like I hoped it would, he said. 4-H is not ready yet. There is not a lot of feeling for the building.
Doug Hart, the 4-H Club extension agent, said club members and parents see a definite need, and those present at the last meeting were all for Walkers proposal.
The problem, said Hart, is there werent enough people at the meeting to be able to tell if there is 100 percent buy-in yet. He said the club wants a booth at the fair to raise awareness.
Walker said he was deeply disappointed in the 4-H group. Nothings happened since I talked to the board except a temporary fix. If we dont move, we wont have a building, he said.
Theres been a lot of talk, people are enthusiastic, but everybody is too busy.
Tidewater, and the other big boys I talked with said I told you. I think we blew this one. I would love to be totally wrong.
Hart said the car raffle would be a good first step. He hoped to feature it in a display at the fair and at other events.
Fair Manager Ron Crook felt it would be better to have the raffle at the fair and sell as many tickets as possible.
Id like to have it as a real focal point, he said.
Were out of time as far as the fair is concerned, said Walker. I cant cut commercials that quick. I may not have an auto now to meet this schedule. The idea was to jump in and be ready for the fair. I was trying to spark enthusiasm at the fair this year. I was unsuccessful.
When other board members counseled patience to give people more time to get going in the same direction, Walker said, 10,000 people will wander through the fair. Im disappointed they wont see some movement to repair. Fair time is the time to do it. After the fair, enthusiasm dissipates.
Changing the subject slightly, Smith said he was also disappointed that the Floral Building wont have a new entrance in time for the fair.
Crook said at least there was some good news for that building.
A garden club in Gold Beach donated $1,000 to repair the entrance, is working on a grant and will give all the money from its fundraisers to the Floral Building.
Crook said he talked with the Brookings Harbor Garden Club too. He said Flora Pacifica will challenge others to match donations.
We will get some involvement, said Crook. Its a good start.
Board member Viola Cuatt said, Its taken 40 years to get this far.