DOSWELL (November 20, 2018)—The State Fair of Virginia recently received a $25,000 donation to be used for youth scholarships. The donation was made by the Gatewood Holland Stoneman Revocable Declaration of Trust to establish an endowment in memory of W.N. Stoneman Jr. This is the largest legacy gift made to the State Fair under its current ownership by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.
Eligible scholarship recipients will be participants in the State Fair’s 4-H, FFA, and youth craft, skill and trade competitions.
“This generous gift is a turning point for our State Fair Youth Development Board’s efforts to grow and enhance youth scholarship and leadership opportunities,” said Marlene Jolliffe, the fair’s executive director and vice president of operations for The Meadow Event Park. “We are extremely grateful that the Stoneman family has made this commitment and excited to see how it enhances our future scholarship programs.”
W.N. Stoneman Jr., who farmed in Henrico County and died in 1980, participated at the State Fair of Virginia as a young man and provided lifelong support to the fair in numerous ways, including service on its board of directors.
His wife, Gatewood H. Stoneman, who died earlier this year, also supported the State Fair in many ways, in addition to her service as a 4-H leader. For many years she was an exhibitor in the baked goods competition. She also served as a perennial judge for youth entries in baked goods and arts and crafts competitions. She was instrumental in the creation of Young MacDonald’s Farm, the fair’s iconic farm animal exhibit that continues to draw fairgoers of all ages.
“Both of my parents encouraged, coached and served as mentors to our entire family as we all participated in many youth competitions and other fair activities,” said Wilmer N. Stoneman III, son of W.N. and Gatewood Stoneman. “This endowment is to honor them and is our way of giving back to the program that we enjoyed.”
A tree will be planted at The Meadow Event Park with a plaque commemorating the establishment of the endowment before the 2019 State Fair of Virginia opens.
Since 2013, the State Fair of Virginia Scholarship Program has awarded more than 1,250 scholarships and has dedicated more than $467,000 to youth education.
The 2019 State Fair of Virginia will run from Sept. 27 through Oct. 6. Information is available at StateFairVa.org.
The State Fair is held each fall at its permanent home at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County and attracts 250,000 fairgoers. The event celebrates the best of Virginia’s past, present and future through scholarship initiatives, creative programming and a focus on the commonwealth’s agriculture and natural resources industries.
Contact Greg Hicks, vice president of communications, at 804-290-1139.