Courtney Borgmann, treasurer of the Stanton County Fair in Stanton, Neb., was elated when she received the Rhonda Livingstone "Dream Big" Memorial Scholarship in 2022. The scholarship, created and initially funded by Marlene Pierson Jolliffe, aimed to honor the memory of Rhonda Livingstone, a passionate fair manager from the Bonner County Fair in Idaho, who had made an impact on Marlene upon their first meeting.
For Courtney, this scholarship was a golden opportunity to attend the IAFE Convention in Indianapolis, fulfilling a long-standing dream.
In addition to her responsibilities as Stanton County Fair treasurer, Courtney works full-time as an assistant director at a large childcare center. She and her husband, Bryce, are also following his dream of farming, expanding a little each year.
Since receiving the scholarship and attending the IAFE Convention, Courtney has experienced the personal support and guidance of Marlene Pierson Jolliffe, manager of the State Fair of West Virginia. Marlene's commitment to the fair industry and her passion for mentoring others resonated deeply with Courtney. Marlene's close relationship with Rhonda, the scholarship's namesake, sparked her desire to ensure Rhonda's legacy lived on. With a pledge of $10,000 spread over 10 years, Marlene is enabling fairs from smaller communities to attend the convention despite limited resources.
“Rhonda was energetic, positive and her passion for the fair business and her fair really moved me. Rhonda was a person who saw no obstacles or hurdles…only opportunities,” Marlene said.
Marlene herself has experienced the power of mentorship, having been influenced by her boss, Ed Rock, early in her career. Recognizing the value of sharing knowledge, experiences, and support, Marlene has embraced the role of both mentor and mentee throughout her long fair career.
The Rhonda Livingstone "Dream Big" Memorial Scholarship not only provided Courtney with financial assistance but also opened doors to a network of mentors and a community of like-minded fair enthusiasts she can call on in the future. As she continues on her fair journey, so does Rhonda Livingstone's legacy live on, inspiring others to dream big and achieve greatness within their own communities.
To see what IAFE scholarships and grants are available, visit https://fairsandexpos.com/scholarships/.
IAFE Scholarships include:
YP Grants by Zone
The Coca-Cola Company First-Timers Grant
The Coca-Cola Company Travel Grant
IAFE Education Foundation Scholarships include:
Friends of the Foundation Grant
IAFE Education Foundation Travel Grant
Fair Publishing House Grant
Rhonda Livingstone "Dream Big" Memorial Scholarship
IFM Etix Grant
Darwin Fuchs Memorial Scholarship
Bob Williams Grant
Mathew Immel Grant
Bill McNeill & Bill Krafft Zone 4 Memorial Grant