As the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair celebrates more than one hundred years of excellence in horsemanship, community involvement and generosity to the local area, there is a youthful group of Devon devotees making it their mission to keep that tradition of generosity alive and well.
Meet the Young Devonaires.
"We're a group of people that have been involved with Devon through the years and now look to build a stronger relationship with the organization," said Co-Chairman Timothy Zupko.
Each member has been actively involved with Devon, serving as exhibitors, volunteers and committee members. Along with Zupko, current members include Co-Chair Jonathan D. Martin, Elizabeth B. Bowden, Jennarose A. DiGiacomo and Gillian Beale King.
The Young Devonaires are responsible for organizing the online/on-site silent auction benefiting the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair Foundation. The Foundation owns the show's property and, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, relies on donations to make improvements necessary to ensure its position as a premier equestrian event and maintain the classic charm of the Country Fair.
"We raised $19,000 in the auction last year, which was incredible," said Martin. "We are definitely looking to increase our results this year."
As a horseman very involved in the equestrian business, Martin said he is "more active now because it's so important for the legacy of the horse show. It's important to let the younger generation learn the Show operations and understand the fact it takes a village to keep it going at the highest levels." Martin, a close friend to President of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Richard M. O'Donnell, recently was appointed as board member to the Pennsylvania Horse Show Association.
Currently, along with the charitable auction, the Young Devonaires are expanding upon a successful first year by working on additional important endeavors designed to encourage more active involvement from a younger generation.
In terms of the auction, Zupko continued, "We're improving the auction this year from just an online auction to a combination online/on-site silent auction. We want people to visit our site on the grounds during the show - to see, feel, touch the auction items. We have a lot of good things and we have more coming," he smiled.
"This year, the online/onsite auction has a whole different menu of items," said Martin. "We have smaller things like gift certificates to local places, plus we have bigger things like the popular carriage ride through Chester Springs. There's a dinner at the Historic Inn at Yellow Springs. We also have some very rare sports memorabilia this year. There is something for everyone."