LA County Fair Challenges Angelenos to “Dare to Care”

From the L.A. Food Bank to the American Red Cross and City of Hope,
94th Fair offers myriad ways for Fairguests to give back
“LA County Fair Community Days” gives residents of 23 So Cal communities
the chance to show hometown pride with parades and hero proclamations
POMONA, Calif. (August 1, 2016) — In addition to challenging 2016 Fairguests to brave the fiercest new thrill rides, spiciest new fried foods and the roaming beasts of the new Jurassic Planet (at night no less!) organizers of the 94th LA County Fair Sept. 2-25 are daring fun-seekers to participate in myriad ways to give back to the community.

The LA County Fair has announced Dare to Care, the 2016 formalization of long-term, integrated partnerships with dozens of nonprofit organizations and community groups, onsite at Fairplex in Pomona and throughout Southern California.
A highlight of Dare to Care is a list of tangible opportunities for the public to donate, volunteer or get involved, including the “LA County Fair Community Days” honoring 2 Southern California communities.

“Most Angelenos know us for 19 days of outrageous rides, foods, animals, shopping and entertainment, but the LA County Fair is also one of the largest centers of philanthropic, charitable, community and educational activity in Southern California,” said Michael Ortiz, Interim CEO. “Beyond our more than one million Fair visitors every year, hundreds of thousands of additional local residents directly benefit with food, school supplies, learning experiences and so much mores.”

One of the LA County Fair’s largest onsite community programs, FairKids Field Trips, is also one of its best-kept secrets. Since 2001, the Fair has partnered with The Learning Centers at Fairplex to open three hours early every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to host students for learning experiences disguised as fun. To date, more than one million students and teachers have received hands-on lessons in agriculture, art, science, literature, California heritage, and farm life before Fairguests arrive.
“Most people don’t realize that we’re one of the world’s busiest classrooms,” added Ortiz, a former president of Cal Poly Pomona. “Due to funding cutbacks at area districts, the FairKids Field Trips are often the only field trips many local kids go on during the school year, so we try to make the experience as rewarding – and fun – as possible.”

Here’s a partial list of 2016 Dare to Care programs, organization partners and community activities – all open to involvement:

LA County Fair Giveback Days – Fairguests can take advantage of “giveback” admission deals on selected days throughout the 94th LA County Fair.
 Week for Heroes (Sept. 7-11) – Once again, the LA County Fair is proud to extend $2 single-day admission for active and retired military, veterans, reserves, fire, police and paramedics with ID, and an additional $2 single-day admission for one guest during this week only. $1 of each admission will be donated to American Red Cross.
 Senior Wednesdays (Sept. 7, 14 and 21) – Fairgoers 60 years and older with ID receive free admission from 12 Noon to 3 p.m.
 Blood Drive Wednesdays (Sept. 7, 14 and 21) – Guests who donate one pint of blood from noon to 5 p.m. receive one free admission any day of the 94th LA County Fair. Collected samples are donated to the American Red Cross and City of Hope, and participants who pre-register with these organizations receive free Fair parking at the Fairplex Sheraton Hotel the day they donate. Already this year, the LA County Fair has donated 4,500 Fair tickets to these organizations plus PIH Health, Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena and Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.
 School Supply Thursdays (Sept. 8, 15 and 22) – Each guest who donates five new packaged school supplies from noon to 5 p.m. receives one free admission on that Thursday only. Requested supplies include boxes or packages of crayons, markers, pencils, highlighters and erasers; notebooks; lined notebook paper; and pencil cases. All contributions are donated to schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Inland Empire United Way School Tools Program. Guest must be present with donation to receive free admission on that day only.
 Food Drive Fridays (Sept. 2, 9, 16 and 23) – Each guest who donates five canned goods from noon to 5 p.m. receives one free admission on that Friday only. All contributions are donated to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and local charities. Guest must be present with donation to receive free admission on that day only.

High School Marching Band Competition – High school marching bands from throughout Southern California are invited to participate in free competitions for cash prizes, the chance to perform in front of LA County Fair visitors and a free day of fun following their performance. The top three bands from eight days of preliminary competitions perform in a Sept. 23 final performance at the Fair to determine the 2016 High School Marching Band Champion. There are no entry fees, and the LA County Fair provides fundraising support and performance feedback from Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association (SCSBOA)-affiliated judges.
LA County Fair Community Days – The LA County Fait is proud to celebrate 21 communities in two counties with a daily parade featuring local dignitaries, high school bands, classic cars and floats, a heroes presentation and other city-specific surprises. Residents of each community are invited to visit the LA County Fair on their special day to support their civic officials, business leaders, volunteers, local talent and students.
 Pomona – Friday, Sept. 2
 La Verne –Wednesday, Sept. 7
 Claremont – Thursday, Sept. 8
 San Dimas, Covina and Riverside County – Friday, Sept. 9
 Eastvale – Saturday, Sept. 10
 Los Angeles County – Sunday, Sept. 11
 Chino – Wednesday, Sept. 14
 Diamond Bar, West Covina and Walnut – Thursday, Sept. 15
 Rowland Heights, Fontana, Ontario and San Bernardino – Friday, Sept. 16
 Glendora – Wednesday, Sept. 21
 Upland, Montclair and Whittier – Thursday, Sept. 22
 Chino Hills, Azusa and Rancho Cucamonga– Friday, Sept. 23
Ongoing Community Support -- Dare to Care also contributes to various local causes throughout the year on behalf of the LA County Fair.
 So far this year, the Fair family has donated 30 Sweet Cases to local foster youth through the Together We Rise organization; donated a free LA County Fair ticket to the 1,800 residents who took part in “Pomona Beautification Day” on April 18; carved and donated watermelons for the Pomona Police Department’s Annual Camp Out, a sleepover for 300 kids under the stars at Fairplex; and supported the Cards for Kids program to benefit the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital and Pomona Valley Medical Center.
 On November 30, the 300-person LA County Fair family will host a pre-holiday toy drive at its annual Town Hall Meeting to support Sowing Seeds for Life and local homeless and children in need in the community
 Throughout December, the Fair family will provide packed lunches for those in need at the City of Pomona’s Armory homeless shelter operated by Volunteers of America. The goal is to provide all 140 shelter residents with a hand-packed lunch on multiple days during the month.
LA County Fair Challenges Fairgoers Fairguests to Dare to Care
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2015 Community Involvement
 35,000 People Nourished – Guests donated 174,909 cans of non-perishable food to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in exchange for free admission – totaling 87 tons of food, feeding nearly 35,000 people.
 10,000 Classrooms Supported – Guests donated more than 65,000 school supplies to the Los Angeles Unified School District and Inland Empire United Way in exchange for free admission, more than double from last year.
 149,000 Minds Educated – More than 149,000 students and teachers experienced the Fair educational exhibits through the FairKids Field Trip program at no charge.
 8,000+ Lives Touched – City of Hope, Cedars-Sinai, American Red Cross, Huntington Hospital and Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital held Fair-sponsored blood drives resulted in more than 2,700 pints of blood donated. One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
 39 Community Heroes Honored and 12,000+ Volunteer Hours Served – The Fair is honored to be a community partner. We have hundreds of volunteer ambassadors who offer their time and services to various programs, events and exhibitions.
 500+ Aspiring Musicians Earned $24,500 – Both the LA County Fair High School Marching Band Competition and the Battle of the Bands (BOTB) winners earned cash prizes and bragging rights while BOTB winners also earned the priceless opportunity to play at the Vans Warped Tour music festival.
 Approximately $8,000 Donated to the American Red Cross – In honor of 9/11, the Fair donated proceeds from the Week for Heroes promotion to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund.
About the LA County Fair – Sept. 2-25, 2016, at Fairplex in Pomona
The 94th anniversary of America’s largest county fair in fun and acreage includes all-new Jurassic Planet, featuring 35 animatronic dinosaurs; a reimagined “Our Bodies” exhibit; the ultimate hand-on sports experience; a summer ice-skating, snow-sledding village; walk-through floral paintings; the 16-night End of Summer Concert Series; and a carnival midway, farm and exotic animals (including a giraffe!), exclusive food, shopping and entertainment. Closed Mondays (except Labor Day) and Tuesdays.
Visit www.LaCountyFair.com for admission, hours and more information, or call (909) 623-3111.

Media Contacts: Renee Hernandez, Fairplex
Hernandez@fairplex.com  (909) 865-4261 

Bob Ochsner, Amusement Park
BOchsner@amusementparkinc.com (714) 881-2341