Third annual Harvest Dinner 'Harvest Award' winner announced
Monday, 21 August 2017 21:59

Also: $79,620 raised for 4-H youth/Celebration of Champions

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana State Fair Foundation’s third annual Harvest Dinner, held Saturday evening (Aug. 19) at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, raised $79,620 for 4-H youth through the Indiana State Fair’s "Celebration of Champions."

Also, the Harvest Award was presented posthumously to Mauri Williamson, founder of the Indiana State Fair’s Pioneer Village.

The award was accepted by Mauri’s children Marsha Mohr and David Williamson.

Nearly 650 business leaders, government officials and friends of the fair enjoyed mingling during the cocktail hour, followed by a hearty meal and beverages served in mason jars.

“My Dad loved Pioneer Village and the Indiana State Fair and would’ve been deeply honored to accept this award,” said his son David Williamson. “Dad attended 90 Indiana State Fairs, and he only missed three years when he served in the Navy during the second World War.”

The Harvest Dinner also featured one of Indiana’s own, Keynote Speaker “Papa John” Schnatter, founder, chairman and CEO of Papa John’s Pizza. “Papa John’s” presentation, titled “Building Business, Slice by Slice” highlighted several of his experiences leading the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company.

In addition to “Papa John”, Lane Slaton (Noblesville), who won the title of Grand Champion Market Lamb at this year’s fair, spoke during the dinner about what it’s like to participate in 4-H and what it takes to be competitive.

“Practice like you’ve never won and perform like you’ve never lost,” said Lane, who is in his seventh year of 4-H.


About the Indiana State Fair Foundation

The Indiana State Fair Foundation raises funds to support year-round agriculture education, youth development and campus stewardship of the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center. The Foundation was established in 2011 to raise private funding to renovate the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. More than $10 million was raised for the iconic building.

Annually, the Foundation raises over $150,000 for the Celebration of Champions which provides monetary awards and a dinner program for 4-H youth who represent the best of the best at the Indiana State Fair. The Foundation also helps fund year-round agriculture education field trips hosting 10,000 school children a year at the Fairgrounds through The BARNS Global Learning Initiative. For more information or to make a donation, visit


About the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center

The Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center is a modern public event facility that annually hosts more than 400 meetings, shows, sports and agricultural events, including the Indiana State Fair. The year-round management of the Fairgrounds is overseen by the Indiana State Fair Commission which is a quasi-governmental agency that was established in 1992, with the mission to preserve and enhance the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the annual Indiana State Fair for the benefit of all citizens of Indiana. Additional information is available at