To spotlight all those who have contributed to the success of NORWESCAP’s Arthur & Friends program would result in an almost endless list of individuals, businesses and organizations that through their generosity, collaboration and support have nurtured our program. We are ever so grateful to all of them for their continued support of a growing program that traces its roots to a Sussex County organization, the Sussex County Fairgrounds.
Years ago, when Arthur & Friends was itself a seedling, the Sussex County Fairgrounds opened the doors of their community built greenhouse to offer our program a “home base” where we could cultivate, prune and grow. The Sussex County Fairgrounds is itself a 501C3 organization with a long history of agriculture, community involvement and Sussex County pride.
The New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm & Horse Show is an integral part of our community. The Fair adheres very closely to its Mission Statement:
To showcase New Jersey agriculture; provide safe, family-friendly entertainment; present educational activities; promote youth development; and give financial and In-Kind support to charitable, non-profit agencies. Beyond the annual Fair, a ten-day event powered by the energy of more than 1300 community volunteers, the organization provides fields for local youth athletic groups, meeting spaces for many 4-H clubs, local towns and organizations, and use of the grounds at minimal cost to local non-profit organizations for their events.
Welcoming Arthur&Friends to the Fairgrounds greenhouse created a much-needed stability to the program location. The accessibility of the facility allowed easier access for new participants and allowed us to expand our operation. The use of the greenhouse at the Fairgrounds also gave us a permanent home where we were able to cultivate the program and work through the growing pains that come with an innovative solution to a complex issue. The well maintained Fairgrounds and greenhouse are a perfect setting for our participants and the public interested in learning more about our program and hydroponic growing. We’re happy to spotlight the Fair, its Board of Directors, Fair Manager Mark Musilli, the incredibly wonderful ground crew lead by Butch Decker, John Haftek of the Agricultural Committee, Maureen Verbeek, garden designer and Master Gardener. Together with the support of the community and the tens of thousands of people who visit the fair every year, Arthur & Friends has found a place in a community and a home in Sussex County. Their generosity gave our program its roots and their continued support, hard work and encouragement, have helped us grow.