The Rotary Fair, an annual Hillsborough tradition for over a decade, wound down on Saturday evening after a five-day run that attracted over 15,000 visitors from Hillsborough and surrounding communities.  "The Fair is our premier fundraiser of the year," commented Tricia Marciano, president of the Rotary Club of Hillsborough. "The Fair enables our Club's Foundation to support dozens of community organizations and needs throughout the year."  
 
Fair proceeds have provided scholarships for Hillsborough High School students attending college and vocational schools, holiday gifts for families in need, emergency equipment for the Township Emergency Services and dictionaries for all Hillsborough and Manville third-graders.  Additionally, proceeds have been contributed to local organizations that deliver critical services to community members, veterans and active military - both here and abroad,  the Hillsborough YMCA, GiGi's Playhouse, Steps Together, Respite Day Care at Hillsborough High School, Adult Day Care Center of Somerset County, the Hillsborough High School Cross Country Team, Cheer Team and Robotics Club, among many others.
 
A Family Fun Day for Those with Special Needs 
 
Every year, the Rotary Club of Hillsborough dedicates the Saturday afternoon of the Fair strictly for those with special needs, their families and caregivers.  For three hours, the Fair is shut down to the general public so that these families can enjoy an afternoon together at the Fair without the challenges of large crowds and  sensory overload.  This year, 935 guests enjoyed rides, food and games -  all free of charge. Children at Fun Day received an additional treat when Sparkee, the mascot of the Sonerset Patriots,  showed up to greet his fans and pose for pictures. 
 
This special day requires some special help, and several individuals and organizations stepped up to the task, including Ken Genco of Coldwell Banker and Hillsborough Pediatric Dentistry & Family Orthodontics, who provided the Fun Day T-Shirts, OAR (Organization for Autism Research) NJ Chapter, UNICO National (Hillsborough Chapter) Boro Pride and  Hillsborough Education Association (HEA) were also on hand to provide needed assistance on Fun Day.
 
Giant 50/50 Raffle Won by Hillsborough Resident
 
As in year's past, a giant 50/50 raffle was a key component of the fundraiser.  This year, the winner - a Hillsborough resident - took home  $2,350.  Additionally, nightly raffles produced two more winners per night. 
 
Business Showcase Gives Local Businesses Community Exposure
 
Businesses as diverse as Bath Fitters, Coldwell Banker, Kickside Martial Arts, Foot Hill Acres, Hillsborough Pediatric Dentistry, Kiddee Academy, NY Life, Octopus Music School, Starglow Salon and The Dance Connection were on hand throughout the Fair to meet the public and introduce their products and services. Forty-one local businesses took advantage of the Fair's great popularity by setting up promotional displays or signs around the Fairgrounds that promoted their businesses."These businesses typically come away with new business leads and customers," commented Ken Genco, member of the Rotary Club of Hillsborough responsible for organizing the Business Showcase. "The opportunity to meet so many local residents over five days keeps these businesses coming back year after year."
 
It Takes a Village
 
The Rotary Fair not only attracts many visitors, but also many volunteers and sponsors who contribute to the success of the Fair by underwriting portions of the Fair, operating the games,  distributing water, cleaning tables, picking up trash, and handling some of the many tasks associated with the running of the Fair.  Petrock's Bar and Grille once again sponsored the spectacular fireworks display on Friday evening.  
 
 
The following organizations all participated in the operation of the Fair:
 
- Rotary Club Family and Friends
- HHS  Robotics                                                  
- Operation Shoebox                                        
- HHS Softball Team                                         
- HHS Swimming Team
- HHS Cheer Team
- HHS Girls Cross Country  
- Friends of The Quinn Family (Petrock's Bar & Grille staff and friends)
 
Product and services were donated by:
 
- Weis
- Dunellen-Green Brook Rotary Club
- Dave's Suburban Disposal Services
- Sunnyside Gifts
- ShopRite of Hillsborough
- Law's Coffee
- DJ George
- The Landing Restaurant
- Angelo's Pizzeria
- The Rotary of Dunellen-Green Brook
- Tarkyno’s Mini Melts Ice Cream
  
"The Rotary Club of Hillsborough would like to thank all those who helped make The Rotary Fair a great success and a Hillsborough family tradition," noted Club President, Tricia Marciano. "Planning for next year's Fair began before the last tent was folded and packed away."
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