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South Texas Fair raises money to help SETX
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
The South Texas Fair is in full swing today, and when you buy a ticket, you're not just paying for a good time, you're also giving to local charities. For 71 years, the Young Men's Business League of Beaumont has given the money they earn from the fair, minus expenses, to local charities.
Rollercoasters, funnel cake, and other annual South Texas State Fair traditions keep people coming back.
"I'm excited to go on Crazy Mouse, the ride!" cried Mariah Jones.
"Yes, and I'm going to go on the Ferris wheel," said her younger sister Brooke Jones.
"Eat and ride all the rides," said their cousin Alex Hickman.
But there's more to the fair than just having fun. Whenever you buy a ticket to the South Texas Fair, around 80 percent of the money raised goes to helping around 50 non-profit organizations in Southeast Texas.
"The money stays here in Southeast Texas, we make sure of that," said the President of YMBL Beaumont, Jessie Gonzales.
The Young Men's Business League of Beaumont has put the fair on for 71 years.
"Basically it was to give back to the community," said Gonzales.
"If this wasn't here it would be a lot different," said Harvey Zernial, president of the Southeast Texas Food Bank. "We would have a lot more needs out in the community."
Zernial says the fair makes a huge difference to the food bank, and other non-profits in Southeast Texas.
"Well, when you look at the food bank," said Zernial, "we feed four people for every dollar. So, [the YMBL is] feeding thousands and thousands of people by how they support the food bank."
Fair-goers say they're happy to support a good cause.
"Well I just figured it out," said Autumn Snyder. "It's very cool."
"I know there's a lot of need in our community, and I know the YMBL puts on this huge fundraiser every year and it does a lot of good," said Mike Snyder.
"I think it's awesome, because we have a lot of needy people, so I think it's awesome," said Linda Jones.
The YMBL raised 800,000 dollars during the fair last year. They hope to raise even more this year.