DES MOINES, IA (08/01/2018) (readMedia)-- Des Moines, IA - Thanks to a generous contribution from Sandra Freeman Dowie, the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation will continue its mission of preserving and improving the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds. Sandra's $1 million gift will help renovate and restore the Fairgrounds that visitors across the state can enjoy. For the contribution, the Sandra Freeman Dowie Midway Plaza will be dedicated in her honor.

Growing up, Sandra Freeman Dowie and her brother remember tagging along with their father, D.S. "Buck" Freeman, as he decorated the Fairgrounds. He saw his passion for decorating as an opportunity to bring people together to create meaningful experiences. There was no better place to exhibit that passion than the Iowa State Fair.

Sandra enjoyed working alongside her father and his business, Freeman, during the busy August event. You could often find her running around delivering signs and taking orders from customers. The experience at the Fair sparked her passion for working in customer service.

Sandra officially started her 50 years of employment at Freeman in 1957 as head of Corporate Exhibitor Services in an office located in Des Moines. Since then, Freeman has grown to be the leading provider of integrated services for face-to-face marketing and brand building events, including expositions, conventions and meetings. Freeman has 7,000 employees, 90 offices worldwide and 300,000 exhibiting clients.

Whether Sandra was competing in the 4-H horse show, socializing with friends or working alongside her father; the moments spent on the Fairgrounds hold a special place in her heart. Sandra began supporting the Blue Ribbon Foundation when it was founded in 1993. "I love what the Foundation does in terms of repairing infrastructure and preserving the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds," she said.

"The generosity Sandra has shown will impact young Fairgoers for generations," said Peter Cownie, Executive Director of the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation. "We are grateful for her support of our efforts to restore the Iowa State Fairgrounds."

The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has raised more than $138 million, through individual contributions, state appropriations, in-kind services, and corporate, federal and state grants. For more information, please contact the Foundation at 515-262-3111 Ext. 371, or visit