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Three fund-raisers aided by Lewis County Fair parking hike

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LOWVILLE — Three fund-raising efforts have received more than $4,000 combined, thanks to a parking fee increase at this year’s Lewis County Fair.

The Lewis County Agricultural Society, which owns and operates the county fairgrounds and organizes the annual fair, donated $1,350 apiece to United Way of the North Country for its annual Lewis County Food and School Supply Drive, Hand In Hand Early Childhood Center to replace wood chips in the playgrounds and undertake other capital upgrades at its child-care center here and the South Lewis Central School District’s FFA program to help fund a suicide prevention presentation.

Directors of the county fair, prior to this year’s annual event from July 17 to 21, decided to raise the on-grounds parking cost from $3 to $5, primarily for logistical reasons, said Douglas P. Hanno, agricultural society treasurer.

Having the price at $3 in the past often required parking attendants to make change, causing traffic backups into the street at the gates, Mr. Hanno said. The increase effectively eliminated that issue, he said.

Fair directors at the outset also decided to give half of the increased revenue — $1 per vehicle — to nonprofit organizations and settled on the three recipients at a recent meeting, Mr. Hanno said.

“We wanted to give back to the community,” he said.

“We are delighted to receive this gift to help with the Food and School Supply Drive — and it will help greatly,” Tobi R. Darrah, United Way’s resource development director, said in a statement.

The annual drive ended Saturday.

Agricultural society officials plan to continue the parking-fee donation program in upcoming years, Mr. Hanno said.

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