Group Marks 65th Year At Fair

In it's 89th year, the East Texas State Fair is steeped in tradition.  And one East Texas group has been there most of the way.

The ladies of the Pilot Club of Tyler have a busy week ahead of them.  But that's nothing new.  For the last 65 years, they've been working hard and raising money through their Country Store at the East Texas State Fair.

For many the Pilot Club booth has become a staple of the fair.  For Cherie Paro, it's more than just a way to volunteer, it's a part of the family.

"I was probably somewhere around 6 or 7 years old and my mother was working behind the booth here and my dad would bring up all four of the Paro girls and we would all pay our quarters and draw a number and we would always win something."

Cherie and sister Renee are both working the Store this year, their mom still gives up her time too.  Renee says having family around makes things fun.

"My mom is still out here so sometimes we'll joke around and say 'Maybe I'll jump up on the counter and draw my number', it's fun."

It's that fun and the people that keep them coming back.

"I'll always be living in Tyler, I'll always be a Pilot member so I'll always be out here," said Cherie.

And they hope you will be too.  The Pilot Club hopes to raise about $5,000 from this years fair.  If you're planning on heading out to the fair drop by and tell the ladies hello.

They're located near the entrance of the "Commercial Building" on the West Side of the grounds.

Chris Gibson, reporting