Grant Collaborations Supports New Building at the Fairgrounds

When the Galesburg Community Foundation was approached by the Knox County Fair board to help fund a new temperature-controlled building on the Fair grounds, the team recognized the impact this project could have on the community. The Fairgrounds had previously served as a testing and training site for emergency responders. “Establishing a centralized space for county-wide emergency response enables the fairgrounds to more effectively meet the needs of Knox County and aligns with GCF’s mission to building healthy communities” says Jillian Isaacson, Galesburg Community Foundations Director of Grants and Programs.

The impact of this addition extends far beyond being a meeting space for the fair board. The livestock office will also be located there as well as a satellite office for the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, a training site for EMT/Ambulance Services, crisis headquarters for the Knox County Health Department, and an evacuation location for District 202.

Fair board member, Mallory Tolley explained “We’re hoping to bring in more livestock shows, grandstand events and various activities on the grounds. The addition of this new four-season building makes it more appealing to come to Knox County and accommodate those folks a little better. This collaborative grant will help immensely in reaching our goals for the grounds. The Fairgrounds are not publicly owned. We operate on income from the fair along with grants and donations from sponsors and community members.”

Galesburg Community Foundation recognized these opportunities for community members to benefit and saw an opportunity for the Knoxville Community Fund to make a grant as well. “This new building at the Fairgrounds seemed like the perfect fit for a grant from the Knoxville Community Fund in addition to funding from GCF. This partnership aimed for a broader impact on Knox County residents, particularly benefiting Knoxville’s community,” commented Jillian Isaacson, Galesburg Community Foundations Director of Grants and Programs

The Knoxville Community Fund is a fund of Galesburg Community Foundation. It is guided by a local advisory board that is empowered to award grants that positively impact the Knoxville community. Because it is an endowed fund, the Knoxville Community Fund will grow forever, creating a permanent source of financial support for local needs.

Brett Wright, President of the Knoxville Community Fund, explained “For over 170 years, the Knox County Fair has been a gathering spot for the agricultural community and provided summer entertainment for Knoxville residents and folks in greater Knox County. Knoxville Community Fund was proud to partner in support of building and infrastructure improvements that elevate the experience for fair goers and groups using the facilities year round.”

For more information about Community Funds contact Sarah Grant, Director of Development, at 309.344.8898 or .

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Haley Sloss

Charitable Giving Coordinator

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Haley provides support to enhance the function and success of the Charitable Giving and Affiliate Teams. She ensures donors receive a personal approach to philanthropy through outstanding customer service by supporting charitable giving for donors and fund holders across the state.