Inmates to help spruce up fairgrounds

By Kelsey Leyva -

Setup begins a few days before the official Aug. 24 opening of the Lorain County Fair.

Here’s a fact you may not know: Grounds crews will get help from inmates from the Grafton Correctional Institution who have volunteered for clean-up duty.

A majority of the volunteers are part of the Dope is for Dopes program.

“That’s a program that goes out and talks about choices,” said warden’s assistant Ron Armbruster. “They go to schools and churches and community venues and they’ll talk about how the choices in their life have got them in the situation that they’re in.”

Other inmates who will take to the Lorain County Fair grounds have been specially screened to go out into the community. All volunteers are minimum security inmates.

They’ll be at the fairgrounds in Wellington four days before and four days after the fair. The first day is Aug. 17.

Inmates will begin by putting out trash barrels and picnic tables and setting up the parking lot. Then after fair they will help put everything away.

“They’re a big help,” Armbruster said. “The fair board really appreciates their help.”

The fair board reached out to the Grafton institution and has received its help since 2013.

“A lot of the gentlemen really enjoy going into the community and giving back,” he said. “And this is an opportunity for them to give back to the community and show that they’re hard working young men.”

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.

By Kelsey Leyva