Eight months isn’t very long, but it was too long when it meant that one of the Greene County Fair’s biggest supporters, Sheriff Gene Fischer wouldn’t be able to be at the fair in Xenia, Ohio, after suddenly passing away in November 2021.
Eight months, however, gave Taylor Warner, with the Prime Producers 4-H Club and a Greenview-GCCC FFA member, enough time to come up with a plan to honor Fischer in the best way she could think of — at the shows he dearly loved to support and attend.
On Aug. 3, 14 first responders drove a hog into the show ring in a packed house to honor their friend at the first annual Sheriff Gene Fischer First Responder Memorial Hog Show.
During the opening ceremonies at the 2022 Greene County Fair, Fischer was honored by a moment of silence and prayer before the new sheriff, Scott Anger, and Fischer’s wife, Gail, rang in the fair.
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Anger said, “There will never be another Gene Fischer. He was a friend, a mentor, and an older brother to me. We’re going to do everything we can to carry on and make him proud. His spirit is here with us tonight, he would want everyone to have fun. We’re going to continue all of the different things with the livestock that we’ve always done.”
Fischer was known among his staff for his staunch support of 4-H projects. He never let an animal go unsold at the fair, and the sheriff’s department is known for funding youth-related 4-H projects and “shop with a deputy” programs at Christmas. These activities were financed from the Youth Activity Fund, a nonprofit organization.
Fischer’s successor plans to keep these traditions.
“One of the many things we want to do this year is to continue to support the kids,” Anger told the Fairborn Daily Herald. “We want to continue to buy the animals and be part of the different shows. It’s always important to deal with the youth and support them when they’re doing positive things.”
First responders from Ohio’s Division of Wildlife, the sheriff’s department, fire departments, and more participated. Winners were presented their plaques by Gail Fischer. The community plans to continue this tradition for years to come, embodying the spirit of small-town America.
While Fischer would never let any of the kid’s animals go unsold, members of Greene County won’t ever let Fischer go forgotten.