2016 Unionville Community Fair rescued

The 91-year old Unionville Community Fair was saved from possible extinction last night when Deb Deckman stepped forward and agreed to serve as the fair board’s next president.


Deb Deckman, the incoming board president, is shown with her son, Hunter, and her husband, Matthew.

Approximately 50 people attended an emergency meeting at Willowdale Chapel, called specifically to find a president and a treasurer for the board of directors.

“We were facing a deadline to fill these positions by next Wednesday,” explained outgoing Board President Danielle Chamberlain, or we couldn’t continue. “When the current board meets for the last time, we need to elect a new board,” she said. A probable person to fill the treasurer position has been found, but was not identified at the meeting.

Deckman lives in West Grove but has deep roots in Unionville and the fair. Her husband Matthew’s grandparents were part of the fair since the beginning. Grandmother Laura (Case) Deckman was the fourth Unionville Fair Queen, and many fairgoers remember Fred Deckman’s homemade matchbox cars. Matthew Deckman's parents are Joe and Lori (Johnson) Deckman, both Unionville grads. Joe Deckman introduced Fred and Laura Deckman when the fair was dedicated to them a few years back.

“My family is all about getting involved and giving back to the community,” Deb Deckman said. “When we heard the dire straits the fair was in, we knew we had to get involved.”

Already busy with kids, a full-time job as a financial planner, and volunteer responsibilities with the Avon Grove Area Little League, Deckman said she is happy to carve time into her schedule to oversee the administration of the Unionville Community Fair.

Pam Eppinger will serve as the fair's first paid manager, a position designed to take some pressure off board members.

Pam Eppinger will serve as the fair's first paid manager, a position designed to take some pressure off board members.

The second bit of good news last night was the announcement of a first-time-ever paid fair manager, Pam Eppinger. Eppinger knows the Unionville School District well, having provided educational support to students in the district.

Reigning Fair Queen Shannon White’s attendance at the meeting reinforced the fair’s importance to the community and continuing its legacy. Chamberlain pointed out that White recently competed against 59 other fair queens in Hershey, demonstrating how Unionville’s fair is tied in to an even larger community of civic-minded people.

Many of the board members have served for many years, and their children are no longer in school at Unionville. “A younger generation needs to be involved and eventually take over responsibility for the fair,” said Board Member Debbie Schultz. “It is possible to take a little part or a big part, but we do need people who can devote time all year long.”

Schultz said it was encouraging to see younger people in the audience, willing to get involved. Tapping into an even younger age group, Deckman’s 9-year-old son, Hunter, is excited and raring to go. “I want to help with cow pie bingo!” he exclaimed.







About Lora B. Englehart

Lora has a passion for art, gardening, yoga, music and dancing. She continues to research the life of locally born abolitionist and 1998 National Women's Hall of Fame inductee Mary Ann Shadd Cary. She is a dedicated community volunteer, working with the American Association of University Women, Wilmington, DE branch (programs chair), Chadds Ford Historical Society (former board member) and Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art. Lora lives in Birmingham Township with her husband Bill and son Brad. Daughter Erika lives in Pittsburgh with husband Bob and baby Wilhelmina. She is a former French, Spanish and ESL teacher, bilingual life insurance underwriter and public relations coordinator for Delaware Art Museum and Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art.



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