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Chester County Press

West Grove woman steps up to save Unionville Fair

02/23/2016 03:04PM ● By J. Chambless

Former Unionville Fair president Danielle Chamberlain (left) hands the gavel to incoming president Deborah Deckman on Feb. 24.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

It came right down to the wire, but the Unionville Community Fair will live to see its 92nd year after a Feb. 17 meeting resulted in a new president being named to the fair's board. Deb Deckman stepped up to be the new board president after an emergency meeting held at Willowdale Chapel.

Deckman lives in West Grove with her husband, Matthew, and her children -- son Hunter (9), daughter Kailey (7), and son Maddox (5). She works in the financial services industry and graduated from Millersville University of Pennsylvania with a BS in financial economics. Most of all, her family has a strong connection to the fair.

“My husband Matthew’s grandparents donated countless hours to the success of the fair over many decades,” Deckman said last week. “Laura Deckman [Case] was one of the very first Harvest Queens. Her daughter, Shirley Deckman, reigned as Harvest Queen as well. One of Fred Deckman’s many passions was collecting original Matchbox cars. He worked diligently with Matchbox to create a custom Matchbox truck for the Unionville Community Fair. As result of their dedication, the fair was dedicated in their honor about 10 years ago.”

Deckman took the helm of the fair at a critical time. The organizers had been searching for new leadership without success, and the fair was threatened with closing.

“I was not aware of the dire situation until very recently,” Deckman said. “My husband came across an article posted on Facebook that the fair was set to end if no one stepped up as president or treasurer just days prior to the Feb. 17 meeting.

“We discussed stepping up, and in the process of our discussion, we began to recall just how heavily the Deckman family had been involved in the fair, a past which we had nearly forgotten over the years,” she said. “Once we made the connection, we felt an obligation to not only the fair, but to his grandparents, Laura and Fred, step up to the plate. With Matt already being the president of Avon Grove Area Little League, we thought it was appropriate for me to offer to take it on. I also am a board member of Avon Grove Area Little League, but as president, my husband dedicates much more time.”

Deckman's background in financial management should be another plus, she said.

“Being a business person, I believe that getting involved in your community is imperative,” Deckman said. “The easiest way to do so is donate your time doing something you are passionate about. Matt and I believe that many children don’t understand, and often take for granted, the efforts that volunteers make to help communities run. Our approach to combat this is to get involved ourselves, and set the standard for them.

“We are excited to be embarking on this new adventure, and are proud that the 2016 Board of Directors voted to give me the opportunity to lead the fair,” Deckman said.

The 92nd Unionville Community Fair is planned for early October. Visit

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email [email protected].