Volunteers honored at Sun City county fair

County fairs are always fun, and Sun City put on a great one inside Pinckney Hall April 16. More than 1,000 residents enjoyed calf roping, cotton candy, country music and more.The fair was a way to thank volunteers for their hard work.

The night before, groups and volunteers were selected as trophy recipients, from about 100 nominees. The awardees were recognized for their commitment to the community and to groups outside Sun City's gates. Many of the honorees returned to help out at the fair.

The nominees contributed an estimated 14,100 hours within Sun City in 2010, and 25,600 hours outside the gates. Their work, were they to charge for it, has an estimated value of $382,000 - $430,000 (assuming an average wage of $10-$12 per hour).

Madame Zola, the fortune teller at the fair, probably could have told the world that these volunteers never give up. The fair also featured a strolling magician, a "Guess the Cheesey Puffs" game, dancers, and a wandering cow. Billy Drysdal was announcer extraordinaire.

The four Sun candidates for two vacancies on the community's Board of Directors worked the crowd as management executives and staffers mingled with residents.

A mini store hawked the works of the All About Art club members, glass-crafters and the Bon Appetit Club. Down the hallway local non-profit groups were offering information. They included CODA, CAPA, Habitat for Humanity, Hope Haven, Bluffton Boys' & Girls Clubs, VIM, Heroes on Horseback, Kiros Prison Ministries, Julie's Mission and Coastal Carolina/Hilton Head Hospital.

This number doesn't include the hundreds of other volunteers who generously share their time to enhance the Sun City lifestyle, including the Safety and Service Club with its many members who volunteer at the front gate.

Sun City residents thank event co-chairs Paula Hoffman and Jackie Bates and a committee of 10 volunteers who worked for more than a year to make the gala fair a reality.