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Advice

Donor Funds Purchase of Pair of Gator Utility Vehicles for Santa Maria Fairpark

Don Rose, branch manager for Cal-Coast Machinery, hands the keys for two new Gator utility vehicles to Stephanie Bertoux, executive director of the Santa Maria Fairpark Foundation, while Fairpark CEO Richard Persons and maintenance workers Pete Medina, Lisa Ruiz and Ramiro Garcia look on. Click to view larger
Don Rose, branch manager for Cal-Coast Machinery, hands the keys for two new Gator utility vehicles to Stephanie Bertoux, executive director of the Santa Maria Fairpark Foundation, while Fairpark CEO Richard Persons and maintenance workers Pete Medina, Lisa Ruiz and Ramiro Garcia look on. (Santa Maria Fairpark photo)

The Santa Maria Fairpark got an early Christmas gift in the form of two John Deere Gator utility vehicles from an anonymous donor. Both are top of the line commercial models that Fairpark officials will put to use ferrying tools and equipment around the Fairpark grounds.

The gift was a win-win situation, with the Fairpark getting two much-needed vehicles to help with events like the Strawberry Festival and the Santa Barbara County Fair, and the donor, who is from Santa Maria, benefitting from year-end tax deductions.

Funds for the purchase of the Gators were donated to the Santa Maria Fairpark Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising arm of the Fairpark. The Fairpark Foundation then purchased the Gators from Cal-Coast Machinery on Blosser Road, Santa Maria’s John Deere dealership.

“It was great to work with the donor, who literally called up one day and made the offer,” said Fairpark CEO Richard Persons. “We connected the donor with our nonprofit foundation so the donor could take advantage of the tax benefits of helping out the Fairpark, and then we worked with Don Rose at Cal-Coast to settle on the equipment.”

Persons said that Rose worked with the Fairpark to take full advantage of municipal discounts available in order to maximize the benefits of the donation. 

“We couldn't be more pleased with the outcome,” Persons said.

The small utility vehicles are an efficient means of getting staff and equipment around the expansive 34-acre Fairpark property.

The utility vehicles can move through crowds and maneuver into smaller areas on the Fairpark grounds, making them a highly economical means of transportation for tools and supplies during events.

The Santa Maria Fairpark is an agency of the State of California. As such, individuals and businesses can realize tax benefits from donating money or goods to the Fairpark, either directly or via the Fairpark Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Other items of need at the Fairpark include a boom lift with a 35-foot working height for trimming trees and making roof repairs, a small backhoe tractor and a variety of tables and chairs for use during events.

Individuals or businesses can donate either money or specific items and receive tax deductions in the amount or value of the donations.

Attracting more about 60,000 attendees each year to celebrate the region’s favorite crop, the next Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival takes place April 29 - May1, 2016.

The festival is followed in the summer by the community’s premier event, the Santa Barbara County Fair. Entering its 125th year, the fair takes place July 13 - 17, 2016, and is expected to attract more than 140,000 people.

For more information, call the Fairpark at 805.925.8824.

Shelly Cone represents the Santa Maria Fair Park.

 

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