Volunteers are the cornerstone of the Teton County Boards and are vital to raising awareness in the communities in which they live and work. Today, the Teton County Board of County Commissioners recognized one of those very special volunteers for their dedication and service as the Teton County Board Volunteer of the Year.
Teton County Fair Board volunteer Marybeth Hansen received the award this morning during the Teton County Board of County Commissioners voucher meeting. Hansen has served on the Fair Board for 10 years and served as the Board’s Chair twice, most recently, serving in 2020 when the County Fair faced many challenges due to COVID-19.
“Marybeth was tasked with leading the Board through, perhaps, the most uncertain and difficult planning process the Fair has ever experienced,” Said Teton County Fair and Fairgrounds Manager Rachel Grimes. “Despite the Fair Board having to make the hard decision to cancel all the entertainment portions of the 2020 Fair, Marybeth made the most out of the Fair we were able to put on in 2020 – and we ended up having one of the most successful years ever in terms of open class Exhibit Hall and Horse Show entries, as well as the 4-H livestock sale.”
The 2020 4-H livestock sale grossed about $620,000, up $90,000 from 2019. Throughout her tenure, Hansen built the English Horse Show from the ground-up, bringing in 175 entries at the 2020 Fair, which was a 50% increase from 2019. Hansen also attained over $10,000 in sponsorships, brought new and interactive entertainment to the Fair, like the JH Ninja Warrior, and propelled the addition of DJ and Emcee to host the Fair’s featured nightly events, like the local’s favorite sellout event, the Figure 8 races.
“Marybeth easily dedicates over 100 hours of her time each year to the Teton County Fair,” said Grimes. “She rarely misses a meeting and spends her time during Fair week on-site, helping staff, 4-H, volunteers, and fellow Board members – and makes sure everything is operating as it should be.”
Hansen’s historic knowledge and insight is something that staff and her fellow Board members have come to seek and value.
“She’s a true inspiration, and she always puts her money where her mouth is,” said fellow Board member, Gary Hardeman. “She is hard-working, a team player, and there is nothing she wouldn’t do to ensure the success of a fun and exciting Teton County Fair.”
Runner-ups for the Teton County Volunteer of the Year award include: Dr. David Peterson, who serves on the Teton District Board of Health; Don Baker, who has served three terms on the Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling Board; Mary Cernicek, who serves as the Vice-Chair on the Teton County Weed and Pest District Board and has been volunteering for 18 years; Susan Mick, who serves as the Board Chair of the START Board; Brian Gallagher, who serves as the Board Chair for Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism; Brian Modena, who services as the Marking Chair for Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism.
To learn to become a volunteer on one of the many Volunteer Boards at the County, please visit https://www.tetoncountywy.gov/284/Volunteer-Boards.