Organizers for the proposed 1991 Utah Valley County Fair say they're hoping businesses and individuals will "throw their hats into the ring," at least as far as donations go.

During a kickoff ceremony for the fair Tuesday afternoon, members of the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce, most of whom are also on the fair board, kicked off another program - the fair's fund-raising efforts.The first step in revitalizing the fair was taken earlier this month when the Utah County Commission signed a three-year contract for the chamber to take over running the fair.

In addition to both the chamber and commission, other Utah County officials - such as Kelvin Clayton, Orem mayor pro tem, and Elk Ridge Mayor Jim Bean - attended the event.

Fair director Brian Utley and fund-raising chairman Judy Bell took time during the ceremony to pass around hats bearing the 1991 Utah Valley County Fair logo. They also passed out donation slips requesting personal or family donations to the fair.

"If we could see one-half of Utah County with hats on, we'd be well ahead of achieving our goals," Bell said. "I'd like to walk outside and see a thousand hats."

The board is asking patrons to donate whatever they can in the form of time, money or both to the fair. Patrons are also asked to aid in the advance sales of season passes to the fair, in order to assure "that this county gets the kind of fair it deserves," Utley said.

While the passes are still in the planning stages, the board has set $2 adult fees and $1 children's fees for the passes, which come in the form of an "I Love Utah Valley" button.

The board has said this year's fair - set at the Spanish Fork City Fairgrounds from Aug. 14 to 17 - will probably include an admissions charge.

Members of the Utah County Commission have pledged their support to the fair, promising to provide some seed money to ensure that this year's fair will get off the ground.

Commissioner Malcolm Beck said the overwhelming margin in victory in this month's general bond election proves that county residents support communitywide activities and the fair should prove no exception. "I think the people here want this fair and that's what we're going to give them."

Clayton said he planned to pass hats and donation slips around the table during the next Orem City Council meeting.

Though the fair already has $7,600 remaining from last year's fair fund, Geneva Steel's $4,000 share has been set aside for 4-H events in this year's fair. Consequently, the chamber is pursuing several large sponsors for the majority of this year's funding.

No fair was held in 1989, and only a limited fair was held in 1990, though the commission had at one time provided as much as $40,000 in fair funding. However, the chamber and commissioners have restored the fair this year in hopes of making it a self-sustaining event.

For more information on donating time or money, contact the chamber at 224-3636.