500 mattresses donated to Wisconsin State Fair dorms

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It's out with the old and in with the new at the Tommy G. Thompson Youth Center at State Fair Park.

"This is a big day for the foundation, a big day for the fair park, and a big day for all of the kids who will be staying here," says State Fair Foundation President Mike Wojciechowski.

Each year 2,700 young exhibitors stay at the youth center throughout the 11 days of the State Fair.

But some of the beds they would sleep on dated back to post World War II.

"They called the existing ones the taco beds because you would have to get in slowly because they would dip there in the center," says Mattress Firm President Chuck Dawson.

That's why Mattress Firm donated 500 mattresses and offered 175 bunk beds at cost to the State Fair Foundation.

"It costs us about $3,000 to redo one room. So clearly this is huge donation which has helped us finish about 35 rooms and has been a great relief for our foundation," says State Fair Park Sponsorship Manager Jen Puente.

The State Fair Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the State Fair, has spent years slowly replacing the beds at the youth center dorms.

But now because of this donation, they've all been upgraded to help young exhibitors get their 8 hours.

"They can get a good night`s sleep so they can perform their absolute best when they`re showing their animals, when they`re giving their music performance, and when they`re helping out in the 4H action center," says Puente.

An additional 1,500 youth stay at the Tommy G. Thompson Youth Center Dorms throughout the year for conferences and agricultural shows.

The Wisconsin State Fair kicks off on Thursday, August 1st.