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State Fair, Children’s Hospital partner to benefit thousands of youth


DOSWELL—A new partnership between the State Fair of Virginia and Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU will benefit thousands of children.

SFVA Crafters for Children” is inviting creative arts competitors or demonstrators to donate their handcrafted items for an online auction that will be offered throughout the fair. Fairgoers who spy an original painting, unique piece of knitted clothing or a handmade holiday wreath will have the opportunity to bid on the donated items.

Once the auction ends, 70% of the proceeds will be donated to CHoR, and 30% of the proceeds will be donated to the SFVA Youth Scholarship Program.

The SFVA Youth Scholarship Program supports youth education and has donated over $730,000 for more than 2,000 students since its inception in 2013.

“It’s humbling to have the opportunity to use our platform at the State Fair to partner with incredible organizations like CHoR and create meaningful relationships and memories that will last long after our 10 days of Ferris wheels, funnel cakes and fun,” noted Sarah Jane Thomsen, the fair’s manager of agriculture education and strategic programming partnerships.

“This is a win-win for everyone. We’ve had fairgoers in the past inquire about purchasing some of the amazing, handcrafted creations. And now they can—and benefit children at the hospital and youth education,” Thomsen added.

Lauren Zaller Moore, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Foundation said that “CHoR and the State Fair of Virginia are each committed to children and families, so we are thrilled to have this partnership opportunity.”

“The impact of the funds raised from the Crafters for Kids program will extend beyond just Central Virginia,” she added. “Our hospital cares for kids from all across the commonwealth as well as from most states in the country and even internationally.”

Children’s Hospital is the second largest service provider in Virginia and has been nationally ranked for its cancer, pulmonology, urology and nephrology programs. It also is verified as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center. CHoR serves more than 70,000 children and their families each year.

James Salgado was a patient at the Children’s Hospital when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 13. When the now-17-year-old heard about the new partnership with the State Fair, he asked to donate hand-sewn stuffed animals for the auction.

“I’m now 17 and fully recovered, and it would mean the world to me to be able to give back to the people who did so much for me,” said Salgado, who has been sewing since he was 5 years old.

Thomsen said Salgado is not the only one showing enthusiasm for the Crafters for Children program. She had a couple dozen items donated in advance of the creative arts contest deadlines, and competitors will have the opportunity to sign up to donate items when they drop off their entries this month.

The 2023 State Fair of Virginia will run from Sept. 22 through Oct. 1. Information is available at

The State Fair is held each fall at its permanent home at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County and attracts over 225,000 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.

The Children’s Hospital Foundation provides support for the programs of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and the more than 70,000 children and families it serves each year. CHF prides itself on maximizing every dollar donated to support CHoR’s mission. One hundred percent of all gifts are distributed to programs and services.

For more information or to donate, visit the CHoR at or the CHF at

Contact Marlene Jolliffe, State Fair executive director, at 804-994-2802; Pam Wiley, vice president of communications, at 804-291-6315; or Vaughan Clark, CHoR special events coordinator, at 804-912-3727.

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