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Embarrass Region Fair Association wins Touchstone Energy Community Award from Lake Country Power

Ely Echo - Staff Photo - Create Article
Representatives from the Embarrass Region Fair Association accepted this year’s Touchstone Energy Community Award from Lake Country Power during a Saturday pancake breakfast honoring first responders and law enforcement. Gustave Schroeder, chair of the board, is pictured in the center holding the $500 check along with Janine Patten, trustee/secretary of the board, holding the plaque. Also pictured is Sue Beaton on the left, Tana Johnson, Bonnie Meier, Rodney Dale, Roland “Charlie” Fowler on the right and several law enforcement officers.

Lake Country Power selected Embarrass Region Fair Association of Embarrass, Minn., as the winner of its annual Touchstone Energy Community Award.

The co-op chose this organization to recognize a community of hard-working volunteers who rallied together to prevent the fair from almost folding.

As winner of the Touchstone Energy Community Award, the association was awarded a plaque and $500 that will go toward maintaining the fair.   

“We’re trying to keep the fair going each year and show how important it is to our community and the surrounding areas,” said Tana Johnson, who submitted the application to Lake Country Power.

“On behalf of the Embarrass Region Fair Association and all our hardworking volunteers, we thank you for selecting our application. It means so much for our organization, community, and our volunteers.”

The Embarrass Region Fair Association has been a volunteer, member-operated organization for more than 80 years.

In 2010, there was a real possibility that the annual fair would not continue and the organization would cease to exist.

The community rallied together, restructured the governing board, found solutions to problems and brought the organization out of the red and into the black.

The association now has a strong volunteer base, a healthy budget and established relationships with organizations and individuals interested in supporting the vision for growth.

In 2022, more than 180 volunteers logged over 2,500 volunteer hours. It’s estimated that between 7,000 – 10,000 people are impacted by the efforts of the Embarrass Region Fair Association.

The fair drew over 4,000 people last August. The fairgrounds, Timber Hall, riding arena and storage buildings are used throughout the year by various groups for events.

Lake Country Power is one of several Touchstone Energy Cooperatives in Minnesota providing a local award to encourage and recognize local community contributions.

Embarrass Region Fair Association will compete with winners from other Minnesota-based electric cooperatives in February for statewide recognition and $2,000.   

Lake Country Power,, is a Touchstone Energy cooperative serving parts of eight counties in northeastern Minnesota. The rural electric cooperative provides services to more than 43,000 members and has offices located in Cohasset, Kettle River and Mountain Iron.

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