The bids for Katie Eitner’s lamb at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, in early August were made to help the family defray medical costs for her stepfather, Harley Joe Gapen. WTAE in Pittsburgh reports many people came together to chip in: after the bids started at $20 per pound, bidders started offering more and more.
The bidding finally reached $233 a pound, and the lamb sold for $33,785 total!
As you can see in this clip KDKA2 Pittsburgh shared on YouTube, it was a touching moment. Other 4-H members and friends of Eitner joined her in the ring, applauding as the bids went higher and higher. They erupted into a cheer when the bidding on the 145-pound lamb closed at $233 a pound:
Other 4-H members contributed portions of the sales of their steers and lambs to the cost of Eitner’s lamb. It’s clear the community really loves this amazing girl and her stepdad.
Gapen had surgery Aug. 13 to remove the brain tumor. He is a former 4-H member and leader, WTAE reported.
The story of the support the community showed this family is so heart-warming!
Other kids who raised animals for auction this summer gave away their earnings, too. A seventh-grader in Ohio decided to donate the money his hog brought in at the Huron County Fair to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. When word got out that he was trying to bring in more than a 14-year-old two counties over who’d donated more than $11,000 to St. Jude from his own hog’s auction, the community came together to buy the hog for $15,000.
And the 4-H community has pulled together to help with medical costs in the past, too. In 2017, a boy in Michigan who has cystic fibrosis really felt the love when he raised $36,000 selling his pig.
The business of selling animals at a 4-H auction has been difficult in the past few years as the prices of livestock have slumped. But those purchasing the animals have often given more than an animal’s value in order to support the young person who may be considering a career in agriculture.
In Bartholomew County, Indiana, one young man sold his Grand Champion beef steer in 2018 for more than $5,000 — well above its worth. The buyer and other bidders at the fair told a local news outlet they know how hard it is to raise and sell livestock and want to support local farmers.
It is so cool to see these communities rally to support each other!