More animals brought more money than ever before at this year’s 4-H Junior Livestock Auction at the Peninsula State Fair in Ninilchik, according to Nancy Veal, UAF Cooperative Extension Service agent in charge of 4-H and youth development. “We beat last year’s record total by some $20,000. The support from the community and our businesses is outstanding and continues to grow,” reported Veal. Norm Blakeley of Blakeley’s Auction Company sold a record of 63 entries at this year’s sale that included chickens, rabbits, goats, hogs, lambs, steers and geese. Blakeley has donated his services every year since the 4-H auction began over 20 years ago and his spirit of supporting peninsula youth and their efforts in raising livestock has grown every year. At last week’s Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon Blakeley’s voiced cracked with emotion as he announced this year’s auction total had reached an all time high of some $88,000. One goose raised by Cameron Foister to help pay for the brain surgery of his friend Cassie Harris brought in over $1,000.
4-H members parade their livestock before supportive bidders at the annual Junior Livestock Auction at the Peninsula State Fair.
Five pigs, a steer, lamb, and a goat were purchased by various individuals and businesses and donated back to the Arctic Winter Games Host Society that will be prepared at special meals for participants in the 2006 Arctic Winter Games. Two pigs were purchased and donated for the free feed at last week’s Industry Appreciation Day and several other animals were donated to the Peninsula Food Bank.
Kade Faust for the second year in a row raised the Grand Champion Junior Livestock lamb. The day following the judging, Kade’s lamb apparently was stung by a hornet and died of a heart attack the day before the auction. In a hand written open letter to all 4-H families Kade expressed his appreciation for the support, tears, hugs, money and ice cream that people had shared with him, “We are all so busy going in different directions all of the time, but when someone is in need or has a problem, it amazes me how quickly we all pull together and help out however we can. I want each and every one of you to know how I truly appreciated everything that was done for me,” wrote Kade.
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