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Matt Smith, 100th President
Joe Jerkins, Executive Director
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Access Day at the Fair
Friday, August 20, 2021
Missouri State Fairgrounds
What is Access Day?
The primary purpose of Access Day is to give individuals with physical and mental disabilities from across the state the opportunity to enjoy a special day at the Missouri State Fair, hosted by the Missouri Jaycees.
When is Access Day?
Access Day has traditionally been held on the last Friday of the Missouri State Fair each year. It starts early around 9:00 a.m. with helping our guests as they arrive and ends after we have all of our guests safely back on their buses or vans and on their way back home around 3:00 p.m.
When did Access Day Begin?
The Missouri Jaycees started hosting Access Day in the 1970’s when a Governor’s wife asked us to host an event at the Missouri State Fair for the mentally and physically handicapped individuals throughout the State of Missouri.
What does it take to provide Access Day?
In order to provide Access Day to our special guests it takes a lot of “M&M’s” throughout the year. These “M&M’s” consist of Manpower and Money. Without these two things Access Day would not exist. Without monetary donations our special guests would not be allowed “free access” into the State Fair or parking. Although it is “free access” to our special guests, the State Fair does not offer it to us Jaycees as free. The Jaycees pay the admission fee for each of these guests. We rely on Jaycee chapters across the state to run special projects in their own communities and raise money for the sole purpose of Access Day. This program costs us around $8,000 to $10,000 per year depending on the number of individuals that attend Access Day.
What does Access Day consist of?
Individuals with physical and mental disabilities that live in group homes and institutions are invited, along with their caregivers, to attend a day at the Missouri State Fair. These individuals are given free admission into the state fair, free parking and a free carnival game ticket. And we provide every guest with a hot sack lunch in a fun-filled entertainment. Our special guests are also given the opportunity to purchase discounted carnival ride wristbands if they desire. But many of guests just like to take in all the exhibits and vast entertainment offered throughout the fairgrounds. This is their special day and they always leave with a big smile on their face!
Why do the Jaycees host Access Day?
Hosting Access Day allows us to give back to the community in large by helping out the less fortunate. For many of our guests, Access Day may be their one and only chance to get out of their group homes or institutional setting throughout the year and to attend a function that they otherwise would not be allowed to experience.
Thank You for your help!
Thank you for your generosity in donating to Access Day and for taking the time to participate in such a special event!
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