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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Winners of 1999 Bison Fest Fishing Tournament
Winners of 1999 Bison Fest Fishing Tournament, Sick Breakfield and Carter Phillips, holding their prize catch and the "Golden Chip Award." Photo courtesy Sayers Bison Festival

Sayers Bison Festival

The Bison Fest was begun in 1994 as a fundraiser by the Sayersbrook Christian Foundation to raise college scholarship funds. The foundation was started in 1989 by Connie and Skip Sayers, who wanted to use part of their proceeds from selling Sayers Printing Company to fund college scholarships for Washington County students.

The Bison Festival, held at the Sayersbrook Bison Ranch, is a day is filled with fun, which involves bison herd tours, a bison barbecue and a gourmet bison dinner, an auction, a hummer rally, heritage craft demonstrations, pontoon boat rides, tank rides, music archery demonstrations, quilting demonstrations, anvil shoots.

The 1999 Bison Fest grossed more than $40,000 for scholarships. Between 1994 and 1999, the Sayers Christian Foundation has awarded more than 90 scholarships to Washington County youths. The scholarships are based on interviews, grades, extracurricular activities, and an essay on "how to improve the economy of Washington Country." Over the past six years, seventy-five percent of essays focused on the problem of welfare.

Local business donations and the annual Bison Fest Scholarship Day at Sayersbrook Bison Ranch are the fund's main support.

Documentation includes newspaper clippings, photos, a video, a BisonFest dinner menu and short text description.

Originally submitted by: Jo Ann Emerson, Representative (8th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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