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Page 2

Cass County Fair 2013

GRAND MARSHALS Riley and marney Wyant


A Dowagiac couple, Riley and Margaret “Marny”

Wyant of Hampshire Street, will be the grand marshals of the parade opening the 162nd Cass County Fair at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 28, at the fairgrounds in Cassopolis.

Riley, 77, has been associated with horses, hogs and sheep at the fair for half a century. “I was on the fair board twice, six or eight years each time,” said Riley, who has served as superintendent of draft horses and sheep. The two, who have seven grandchildren, have been 4-H leaders for 23 years, working with the youth draft horse program, which has grown into Michigan’s biggest: Thirty-five to 40 compete, with 60 percent to 70 percent borrowing the big animals. Riley said they mentored three girls this year through 4-H. “It’s fun to see some of these city kids who want to do this so bad,” Riley said. “Some of them think

they’re tremendous horse people because they’ve watched it on TV. I’m one of those guys who doesn’t worry about what you tell me. Just show me. One girl was on the horse two minutes before it decided to go back to the barn. When they get shown by children all the time, they get smarter.” “I was in the registered hog business (in the 1960s) from Schoolcraft” in Kalamazoo County, Riley said, “and Richard Wooden was, too. He wanted me to come over and help fill up the pens, so I’d bring a truckload and I and my two boys would sleep in the truck. It seemed like every time we came over it rained. One year, they almost had a tornado, and they didn’t have the

buildings they have now — just tents. All the cows were in the middle where they put on free shows.” “Dr. (E. Dale) Purkhiser (the swine agent), his two sons and I helped rebuild the hog barn and the sheep barn,” Riley said. “He was a guy who always wanted to get things done right away. He and the county agent (G. Wayne Hothem) got along like water and gasoline.” Riley met Marny, a retired teacher, nearly 34 years ago at a Parents Without Partners dance. “I taught English, reading and was Title I coordinator,” she said. Her closest position was in Lawton for 18 years in Van Buren County. She also worked in Marshall and Battle Creek. “I knew nothing about farming. It was culture shock,” Marny said. “You just dive in when you’re younger. I’ve driven tractors and horses.” “She’d come home from school after having a hard day and we’d put her to work on farm stuff — usually See WYANTS, page 3

Leader photo/JOHN EBY

Riley and Marny Wyant are the 2013 grand marshals.

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WYANTS Continued from page 2

baling hay was the big program. I think her mind wandered to the lake. For some reason, she didn’t look back a lot,” Riley said. “Before we got married, I decided I wanted to do something. Then we got into breeding and raising our own colts. At one time, we had 14 head we showed. We were in the breeding business four or five years before we dropped out and went to geldings.” “Now, he does most of the showing. I don’t show anymore,” Marny said. Wyants own four Belgian draft horses and were on their way to the Council on Aging in Cassopolis with two teams for the Grand Festival, with Riley driving one, Courtney Kuemin the other. They went July 10 to LaGrange, Ind., to conduct a farm class while one of their 4-H girls competed in a youth class. “When tractors came in in the 1940s and ’50s,” he said, “the only people who had draft horses anymore were the Amish. Belgians did the most work for the least care. Horses have always been in my blood. My grandfather was a stallioneer in Niles and traveled around the country.” Riley organizes Thursday’s fun night draft horse demonstration, he said. “We sold 100 acres and have 20 acres left and 60 ewes — that’s her job. We have sheep to pay for the draft horses, although this year, with hay and grain doubling, it kind of took the profit out of the sheep business. Last year’s drought started the problem because we had to buy a lot more hay than normal.” They built a new home — “designed for old people” — 7 1/2 years ago in a hayfield with a panoramic view, where Riley celebrated his 70th birthday. “Depending on what lot we have them in, horses and sheep come around the house. You can always see something happening,” Marny said.

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Cass County Fair 2013


chris archer

Previous winners


2012 — Chris Archer 2011 — Larry Cole 2010 — Larry Cole 2009 — Lisa Broda 2008 — Josh Hance 2007 — Josh Hance 2006 — Everett Smith


After finishing as reserve grand champion in 2011, Amy Archer, of Niles, might have won the seventh annual Backyard Chef. But she decided to bring along her son, Chris, home from the University of Michigan, and he carted away the big trophy with a grill on it for $500 grand champion the final day of the 161st Cass County Fair. “He’s a great cook. I taught him well,” said Amy, who debuted in 2010 and also has won the chili contest at Niles’ Hunter Ice Festival. “I talked him into coming over to compete against me.” “I’ve never cooked in competition before,” said Chris, 22, who studied neuroscience at the University of Michigan. Archers live on Barron Lake Road in Cass County. “My best one, I think, was my chicken, which got third. The glaze turned out amazing. I like working with bizarre flavors,” said Chris, who also created a three-pound burger stuffed with goat cheese and lathered with cherry sauce. It looked as good as it tasted. Blueberry sauce completed his pork loin among 46 meat entries, which staggered five judges. Chris and his mom entered 11 dishes — his three and her eight. “We worked into the wee hours and were up bright and early,” said Amy, who prepared side dishes and entered meat categories for propane and charcoal. She stuffed a melt-in-your mouth beef tenderloin with fresh baby spinach, mushrooms and cheese. “I was just doing it for fun,” Chris said, “and it was a lot of fun.” The Backyard Chef Contest for amateurs only again offers a $500 grand prize

Leader photo/JOHN EBY

Ten grill gladiators entered 46 meat dishes and seven side dishes in the seventh annual Backyard Chef sponsored by Midwest Propane at the 161st Cass County Fair. They competed for $1,800 in prize money. As grand champion, Chris Archer, of Niles, can become a judge this year. and $1,800 total prize money on Saturday, Aug. 3. Reserve grand champion receives $250, plus $100 is awarded in each of six categories — charcoal pork, charcoal chicken, charcoal beef, propane pork, propane chicken, propane beef — and $100 for the best side dish. There are also $50 prizes for second in each category. Call (269) 445-8265 with questions.

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Page 4

Cass County Fair 2013

Vintage tractors Karla Bronicki took this photo of her cousin from Poland posing by the tractors at the Cass County Fair.

Enter your photos of the Cass County Fair at .

Lions club offers free eye screenings Edwardsburg Lions Club offers free eye screening at the 162nd Cass County Fair Tuesday, July 30, for Kiddies Day. The Edwardsburg Club will offer children ages of 1 through 5 Lions of Michigan Project KidSight. Project KidSight is a Vision Screener PlusOptix camera that has the technology for improved “Vision Screening.” The PlusOptix S09 camera has proven accuracy, non-invasive testing for the child and recommended by leading Pediatric Ophthalmologists. Many children do not realize they have a vision disorder. Vision disorders don’t hurt and children have no reference for how they are supposed to see. Most parents can’t recognize that their child has a vision disorder because there are no obvious symptoms. Vision disorders may lead to a lazy eye which is called amblyopia. The vision screening device is designed to detect vision disorders not eye diseases. The camera is able to detect nearsightedness, farsightedness, unequal refractive power, optical defect in which vision is blurred, unequal size of the pupils or gaze deviations. The vision screening does not replace a comprehensive eye exam by an eye care professional but is valuable to parents to have their young child’s eye screened once a year free by Lions Clubs in the State of Michigan until they are ready for kindergarten. Vision disorders are the most common handicapping condition in childhood. The screening actually takes just a short time for the parents to complete a consent form, have the child sit either by themselves or a parent may hold them. All the information about the child’s name, age and sex are entered into the computer. The trained screener will show the child the camera and explain to them the smiley face is going to take their picture. It just takes seconds to take a picture of the child’s eyes in 18 different ways. If the child is a pass the computer will show passed and the parents have the immediate answer that their child’s eyes appear to be normal at that time. If a

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Cass County Fair 2013

Lighted fun

Emily low took this photo of the cass county fair at night. child has some type of vision impairment the computer will say refer. Two more screenings are taken to verify the child needs referred and seen by a pediatric ophthalmologist. The Lion members will give the parent a complete packet including a picture of the child’s eyes with information for them on exactly what they need to do next. Instructions are in each packet that they take to the eye doctor of their choice. In the last year alone Lions of Michigan in the 11B2

District have screened 1,123 children. Of those children 1,014 were a pass but the camera was able to discover 109 children were in need of being referred to an ophthalmologist. The goal of the Lions Club is to screen children throughout the state of Michigan to detect poor vision development. Many of the children in this age of 1 through 5 have never had their vision checked. By the time they enter school and have their eyes screened the treatment

may not be as effective and could be more costly. Recognizing vision impairment at an early age when the child’s eyes are developing is so important. Bring your children to the Cass County Fair Kiddies Day and have their eyes screened free. Child identification is also offered free of charge. Screenings are done from the hours of 1 until 3:30 p.m. on Kiddies Day and there will be two cameras available to take pictures so the children can get in and out quickly.

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Cass County Fair 2013

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8:00 a.m. Entry of Open Class Home Arts & Fine Arts Exhibits (EC) 9:00 a.m. Registration & Judging of All Youth Projects & Entry of Non-Livestock Exhibits (FA) 12:00 noon Open Class Exhibits must be in place (EC) 2:00 p.m. Youth Dog Showmanship & Obedience (SA) 3:00 p.m. Youth Non-Livestock Exhibits must be in place (EC) 7:00 p.m. 19th Annual Fair “KING & QUEEN” Contest 7:00 p.m. 10th Annual Fair “PRINCE & PRINCESS” Contest

8:00 a.m. Scales open for Farm Tractor Pull (IF) 9:00 a.m. FARM TRACTOR & ANTIQUE TRACTOR PULL (GS) 9:00 a.m. Youth Horse & Pony - English Classes, Hunter & Equitation (HR) 9:00 a.m. Youth Market Swine Show (SA) 1:00 p.m. Kiddies’ Day Program (1:00-3:30 p.m.) (CB) 2:00 p.m. Youth Dairy Feeder Steer Show (SA) 6:00 p.m. Open & Youth Draft Horse Cart Classes (DHR) 7:00 p.m. NTPA REGIONAL & STATE / NATIONAL TRACTOR & TRUCK PULLS (GS)

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8:00 a.m. Youth & Pee Wee/Cloverbud Dairy Show (SA) 8:00 a.m. Youth & Pee Wee/Cloverbud Sheep Show (SA) 9:00 a.m. Youth Horse & Pony - Trail Classes / Dressage (p.m.) (HR) 2:00 p.m. Youth & Pee Wee/Cloverbud Swine Showmanship (SA) 7:00 p.m. 1964: “THE TRIBUTE” (GS)

7:00 a.m. Livestock may enter the fairgrounds 12:00 noon Entry of Open Class Floriculture & Horticulture (EC) 1:00 p.m. Draft Horse Pulls (GS) 2:30 p.m. Youth Still Exhibit Auction (CB) 3:00 p.m. Youth Livestock Exhibits must be in place 4:00 p.m. Open Class Floriculture & Horticulture must be in place (EC) 5:00 p.m. Youth Draft Horse Evaluations (DHB) 6:00 p.m. FAIR OPENING CEREMONIES / PARADE (GS) 7:00 p.m. STREET LEGAL PICKUP TRUCK & SEMI TRACTOR PULL (GS)

8:00 a.m. Youth Beef Show (SA) 9:00 a.m. Youth Horse - Halter & Performance Classes (HR) 9:00 a.m. Draft Horse Halter Classes (DHR) 9:00 a.m. Youth & Pee Wee/Cloverbud Rabbit Show (BB) 1:30 p.m. Youth Goat Show (All classes except cart, pack, and costume) (SA) 6:00 p.m. Youth Horse & Pony Versatility (following performance classes) (HR) 7:00 p.m. SUPER KICKERS EXTREME BULLS & BARRELS WITH DEWAYNE SPAW (GS)

Page 7

Cass County Fair 2013

Proudly serving Cass Co. for over 45 Years!


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8:00 a.m. Youth Draft Horse Show (DHR) 9:00 a.m. Youth Pony Show - Halter & Performance Classes – English and Western Riding & Reining Classes (HR) 9:00 a.m. Youth & Pee Wee/Cloverbud Poultry Show (PB & BB) 9:00-1:00 p.m. Senior Citizens Day Program – Presented by Cass County Council on Aging (CB) 11:00 a.m. Youth Market Livestock Auction – (SA) Swine, Lambs, Dairy Feeder Steers, Beef, Milk, Draft Horse **NOTE: Buyer Dinner will be provided during the auction with no organized break. 3:00 p.m. Euchre Tournament (CB) 6:00 p.m. Draft Horse Utility Classes (DHR) 7:00 p.m. DEMOLITION DERBY (wagons, sedans, 2WD trucks, vans, suburbans, mini trucks, mini vans, mini cars) (GS)

FRIDAY, August 2 - HOMEMAKER’S DAY HOMEMAKERS ADMITTED FREE UNTIL 9:30 A.M. 9:00 a.m. Youth Horse & Pony Gymkhana (HR) 9:00 a.m. Homemakers’ Day Program (CB) 10:00 a.m. Pedal Pull (MIDWAY) 10:00 a.m. Youth Livestock Judging Contest (SA) 1:00 p.m. Youth Interviews & Demonstrations (GZ) 2:00 p.m. Ag Olympics (SA) 4:00 p.m. Small Animal Fun Show (following Ag Olympics) includes goat cart, pack & costume (SA) 5:00 p.m. Pizza Eating Contest (following Small Animal Fun Show) (MIDWAY/PORKY’S) 6:00 p.m. Open & Youth Draft Horse Cart Obstacle Classes (DHR) 7:00 p.m. SJO SUPER CROSS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (GS) At Dusk FIREWORKS (rain date: Saturday) (GS)


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Page 8

Cass County Fair 2013

Masonic lodges provide free child identification program By JOHN EBY john.eby On Tuesday, July 30, Cass County’s four Masonic lodges will be providing a free child identification program between 1 and 3:30 p.m. at the Cass County Fairgrounds, 509 N. O’Keefe St.,

Cassopolis. The program is being provided as part of Cass County Fair Kids Day. Each child who goes through the process receives a dental impression as well as a compact disk containing a photo, video, digital fingerprints and their vital information. Parents or guardians of

children who participate must be present and fill out a permission slip for the child to receive this service. Children who have already received the service are encouraged to repeat the process every two years to keep information in the completed packets current.

The Michigan Child Identification Program provides the family with everything needed for the Amber Alert system. Since 2005, more than 60,000 Michigan children have received this service. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children considers the Michigan Child Identifi-

cation Program one of the most comprehensive of its kind. For questions or more information about the event, call (989) 466-3087 or consult the Michigan Child ID web site at www. State Director Chris Siebenmark of Three Oaks, former aide to state

Sen. Ron Jelinek, said this is the first time the child identification program has been offered at the fair. Cass County has Masonic lodges in Dowagiac, Edwardsburg, Marcellus and Volinia. The Grand Lodge of Michigan for the state’s 300 lodges is in Alma.

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Page 9

Cass County Fair 2013

: ‘1964


“1964: The Tribute,” which Rolling Stone called “the best Beatles tribute ever,” at 7 p.m. Monday, July 29, will recreate for the Cass County Fair the experience of the Fab Four on tour — except you can hear them. “1964: The Tribute” formed in 1984, so has lasted longer than The Beatles themselves. “The resemblance was uncanny. It sent shivers down my spine. It was just like the boys. Never have I seen another group go to such detail,” said Alistair Taylor, former president of Apple Records. During July they perform in Traverse City and Auburn Hills, as well as Ohio, Texas, South Carolina and North Carolina with Mark Benson as John Lennon, Graham

Alexander as left-handed bassist Paul McCartney, Tom Work as George Harrison and Indiana native Bobby Potter as Ringo Starr. Benson was introduced to music playing drums and piano at age eight. At 17 he started playing guitar. Interested in becoming a luthier, Mark began his internship at Lay’s Guitar Repair in Akron, Ohio, where he learned to build, repair and restore guitars and other stringed instruments. He went on to make guitars for Eddie Van Halen and Jackson Browne and continues to

ute’ Trib The


rebuild, repair and restore all of the instruments for “1964.” Benson has sold vintage instruments to The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bad Company, Hall and Oates, Ted Nugent, ZZ Top, The Eagles, The Allman Brothers, The Cars, David Lindley, Cheap Trick and the Doobie Brothers. Benson played guitar in the local Ohio bands Ashes, Raintree, Coconut, Mr. French and Bock (with Gary Grimes, the original McCartney, who succumbed to brain cancer on Dec. 13, 2010). In 1984 Mark, with Gary, See MANIA, page 10

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Cass County Fair 2013

Horse prep Doris Hoyt took this photo of girls adding graffiti to a horse in prepartion for the gymkhanana events at the cass county fair

Enter your photos of the Cass County Fair at .


Continued from page 1 started “1964.” He produces all aspects of the show and produced the “1964” CDs, “All You Need Is Live”, “Nine Hours In November” and “Bootleg Vol. 1.” Mark says, “‘1964’ generates the same feeling of happiness that is still generated by the music of The Beatles. We get so much of this positive energy back from our audiences, it reassures us that for now, we are where we are supposed to be.” Graham started his career in music after seeing a video of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show at age 9. Soon after he found the guitar (and eventually bass, drums and piano) and a year later started playing in bars and nightclubs. Songwriting became his main interest and, with his first band The Roadrunners, he toured the Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York area for several years. After releasing two albums and gaining notoriety not only for their age, but also for the quality of music they were releasing, Graham and his band parted ways. His love for The Bea-

tles and their music led him to join Beatlemania Now, a Beatles show touring company featuring Broadway cast members of the hit “Beatlemania.” Graham (a right-handed guitarist) taught himself to play bass guitar left-handed for the McCartney role and toured the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom and The Netherlands for more than four years. During this time Graham continued to write and record his own music for publishing by other artists, even contributing a batch of music to a film by 10time Emmy award-winning director Kenneth Sheil. He also made cameo appearances in films (e.g., Splinterheads 2009), television and even video games (e.g., Motion Capture Actor for The Beatles: Rock Band). In 2008, Graham joined the Broadway show Rain for its pre-Broadway tour. With Graham onboard the show opened on Broadway in 2010 at the Neil Simon Theatre (eventually moving to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in 2011). The cast accepted the Broadway Drama Desk Award for Best Musical Revue and a few months later the show closed on Broadway with Graham having performed 150 shows in both theaters. “I love rock ’n’ roll,” Alexander says. “After having performed on Broad-

way for a year, I felt I really needed to be able to play this music the way it was originally played by those four guys over 40 years ago. I’ve always loved the energy and the spirit of ‘1964: The Tribute’ and that, coupled with the incredible level of musical accuracy, is why I am here.” Work (George) is a cofounder of 1964: The Tribute, and is the act’s first George. Tom began playing guitar at 7. Following high school he studied music at the University of Akron. Since the late 1960s Tom has played and sung in a variety of ensembles. During high school and college he played flute, sousaphone and bassoon in the marching and symphony bands. Tom even sang lead for eight years in a barbershop quartet. Tom also worked in more than 20 musical theater productions, both onstage in leading roles, and behind the scenes as producer and music director. “Performing onstage in a band is really where I belong,” Tom says, “although conducting the pit orchestra, for me, is every bit as exciting — and even more challenging. It’s a very rewarding experience to help extract top-notch performances from people, to guide performers to their pinnacle. There’s nothing quite like sitting in the orchestra pit on opening

night and hearing an actor deliver his or her best-ever performance.” In 2006, Tom returned to 1964: The Tribute, ending a 12-year sabbatical. “During my time away from 1964 I worked with a few of the other Beatles shows,” he notes. “I learned a great deal and forged close friendships with some great people, but there’s nowhere I’d rather be, no group of performers I’d rather work with than 1964. It’s great to be back!” Tom lives in Ohio with his two youngest children, and in his free time enjoys cooking, boating and listening to his muses. “A 28year songwriting-block ended in 2008,” he says. Bobby started taking snare drum lessons in fifth grade and got his first set of

drums in seventh. Later, when The Beatles arrived on the music scene, he made it a personal goal to be like Ringo. He played in three bands through high school – a Tijuana Brass band, high school pep band and a top 40 band. He later moved to Champaign, Ill., and joined a band that performed in and around the tri-state area. Wanting to spread his wings, he set his sights on the west coast and moved to Los Angeles, where he played nightclubs there for 10 years. He moved to Las Vegas and played the Nevada casino circuit. Capitalizing on his ex-

perience he backed Chris Montez, Billy Swan, Jewel Akens, Al Wilson, J.J. Jackson, The Coasters, The Drifters, The Dell Vikings, seven show/lounge acts and too many Elvis impersonators to mention. Still wanting to achieve his personal “Ringo” goal, he joined two Beatle tributes, spending eight years. He transports the audience to this carefree magical era when he performs “Yellow Submarine” and “Act Naturally.” “In the tribute world, you can’t get any closer or higher up than this for authenticity, style and sound in the same way The Beatles performed live,” Potter says.

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Cass County Fair 2013

Elvis impersonator to entertain seniors Thursday, Aug. 1, is Senior Day at the Cass County Fair, and, for more than a decade, the COA has made sure seniors have a chance to make a day of it. Starting with coffee and doughnuts at 9 a.m., the COA is inviting seniors to meet on the first floor of the air-conditioned Agnes Gregarek building.  Attendees will have fun watching their raffle ticket because there will be prizes galore donated by local mer-

Doris hoyt took this photo of tory competing in the western horsemanship class at the Cass county fair.

chants. In addition, a 50/50 raffle will take place. The festivities continue with outstanding entertainment. Elvis will be in the room.  Back by popular demand will be Steve Otto, an Elvis impersonator.  Music continues with Brian Correll, a singer and guitarist. COA festivities end at noon


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Page 12

Cass County Fair 2013





Michelle cross, of dowagiac, took this photo of a young girl wiaitng for the swing ride to start at the cass county Fair.

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A Niles teenager is using a duck named Chuck to raise some bucks for a good cause. Ele Hein, a member of the Country Trailblazers 4-H Club, said she would donate the money she makes auctioning her market duck at this year’s Cass County Fair to the American Cancer Society. Hein, 16, named the duck after her grandfather, Chuck Leenknecht, who died of lung cancer on Father’s Day in 1996, about a month before Hein was born. “I only know him through the stories I’ve heard other people tell,” said Hein, a Niles High School senior. “I want this money to go toward finding a cure. Every little bit helps.” Since getting the duck in early May, Hein said she’s been working hard to get it ready for the fair, which runs July 28 through Aug. 3. She feeds the duck, makes sure it has fresh water and even filled a kiddy pool with water so Chuck could swim. “I’m taking good care of him,” she said. Market animals, like Chuck, are auctioned off to the highest bidder at the end of the Cass County Youth Fair. This year’s auction starts at 9 a.m. Aug. 3. Hein said 4-Hers usually put money made at the auction toward a college fund. “I thought giving it to cancer research would be a good idea,” said Hein, who hopes to raise $500.

Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Ele Hein is aiming to raise big bucks for cancer research with the help of her duck, Chuck. The highest bidder at the auction will take possession of Chuck, possibly for slaughter. Hein said it isn’t unusual for the bidder to allow the duck to remain with its handler.

“I don’t know what will happen, but I am kind of growing attached to him,” Hein said. “I hope he will live.” Hein said she is accepting donations in advance

of the auction. For more information, send email to chucktheduck13@gmail. com. Follow Chuck the duck on Twitter at @ chucktheduck13.

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Cass County Fair 2013 Guide

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