Friends of Fairview launches website to set effort in motion

To ensure the chili festival gets the green light to go on this summer, the Friends of Fairview is rallying community support and sponsorship through the organization’s newly launched website,

Friends of Fairview took official responsibility of the formerly city-sponsored festival in early April when the Fairview City Council endorsed the group’s request to co-sponsor the event with the local nonprofit Reynolds Youth Football Association.

Off to a late start because of the council’s delayed decisions and final approval, fundraising for Fairview on the Green and its popular chili cook-off is now in full swing, said Brian Cooper, former city councilor and Friends of Fairview president.

Determined to see the homey, family-focused festival return to the community for good, Cooper said this year is the most important for its future. “If we don’t put it on this year, all the momentum (from past years) will be gone,” he said.

But he is optimistic the community will come through with support.

So far, the group has raised $6,000 of the $20,000 needed to put on the late August festival.

People will be able to donate on Friends of Fairview’s website, still under construction until later this month. However, community members interested in volunteering, getting involved or learning about coming events can still visit the website and subscribe to the Friends of Fairview newsletter.

Donations for the event will go to the Reynolds Youth Football Association until Friends of Fairview becomes a nonprofit organization, hopefully by the end of the year.

Sponsors who have lent support thus far include the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde, Portland General Electric, Comcast, Brasher’s Auto and several individuals.

As for the city, it has agreed to allow use of Fairview Community Park for the festival, waive event permit fees, and lend equipment and the city’s original festival logo.

Fairview on the Green was launched in 2006 by former Fairview City Councilor Barb Jones but was canceled in 2011 because of a lack of funding. During its four-year run, it drew nearly 5,000 people to the park, attracting chili contestants from throughout the Northwest and as far away as Montana.

The festival returned last year, albeit with smaller attendance, thanks to a grassroots effort by the Save the Chili Festival committee, many members of which formed Friends of Fairview.

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