MIAMI COUNTY —One local supporter of the Miami County Fair Jr. Fair Livestock Sale made sure Caleb Taylor didn’t suffer for being last on the list on Thursday.
Kenny Kirby, owner of Schirbyz Party Rental, rallied buyers to leave a smile on Taylor’s face. A group of buyers pitched in to raise $2,200 for the very last animal in the sale barn.
Buyers from all over the community turned out to support the Miami County Junior Fair 4-H and FFA kids hard work in the livestock barns on Thursday.
The sale, which can last all day, ended on a sweet note.
Caleb Taylor, 15, of Troy, was the very last exhibitor in the sale ring. After hours and hours of bidding and sales, many buyers had left for the day as the barns slowly emptied as the last 4-H members waited their turn.
“I’ve been last before so I knew people would have left,” Taylor said. “So when (the group of buyers kept raising the bid), I was actually pretty surprised.”
Erin Taylor, Caleb’s mother, said, she and her family are overwhelmed with the kindness of all the buyers and Kirby’s support.
“My family is very overwhelmed with the community and what Kenny Kirby did for the last kid at the sale,” she said. “It’s amazing that somebody who knows you but doesn’t really know that would do that for that child and we plan to pay it forward next year.”
Caleb is also still in shock over the kindness people showed at the sale.
“I was surprised and actually happy. I was in shock,” he said.
Taylor is a member of the Elizabeth Livestock 4-H club and shows market hogs. In the Born and Raised show, Caleb earned Reserve Grand Champion in his division and fourth in the showmanship class.
“I’m grateful and I’d like to thank them for it,” Taylor said. Taylor said part of the money will go towards new market hogs for next year’s projects.
“I just can’t thank all these people enough. I can’t even put it in to words for somebody to do that for a kid,” Erin Taylor said. “The very last kid of the sale was going to go home with a smile on his face.”
Kirby, himself in 4-H for 11 years, knows the hard work it takes to get to the county fair each year. He and his daughters, with the help of his wife Jenni, have 4-H projects in the lamb and goat barn during the county fair as well.
Kirby kept the “last to sell” fundraising campaign a secret, but was interviewed earlier about his support during the annual general livestock sale.
“I got a stack of letters from kids — 50 of them.I’d like to help each one of them and do what I can,” said Kirby on Thursday. “It’s nice to be here and spend money on kids all day. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
The following buyers raised money for Taylor’s project: Schirbyz Party Rental, Select Arc, TC Holzen, Bud O’Brion County Commissioner, Minster Bank, Heritage Cooperative, Mutual Federal Bank, Joe Johnson Chevrolet, Honda Power Sports of Troy, Ernst Concrete, Erwin Chrysler, US Bank, Quality Fence, Baird Funeral Home, Hart’s Automotive and Towing, High Output Genetics, Rudy Inc., Dwayne Taylor Farms, Miami Valley Feed and Grain, and Poor Farmers RV Sales.
Supporters new and old turned out to the livestock sale to support the youth and their projects.
Michelle Paul, route manager for Rumpke, said it was her first year to attend the Miami County Jr. Fair sale. She said the company was expanding their community support to include new county fairs like Mercer and Miami counties this year.
“It’s the best advertising we can do and it goes to support a great cause,” Paul said. “We are expanding our support to other counties we service. We are having a great time here at Miami County this year.”
Paul said she had a list of those who sent letters, names of employees and their families, as well as tacking on support for 4-H members to boost their support.
“We try to spread it out as best we can,” she said.
Long-time buyer Ron Erwin, of Erwin Chrysler Dodge and Jeep in Troy, celebrated his 42nd year of support this week. With a stack of letters beside him, he was ready to support 4-H kids for the day.
“I like helping the kids out, not just the champions. They work just as hard as the rest. You can’t just show up. It takes a lot of time,” Erwin said. Erwin said he enjoyed attending the 2017 Miami County Fair to watch his grandson play in a band and attended the Veteran’s Day Service.
“It was a nice service,” he said.
Andrea Till and husband Michael bought on behalf of Poor Farmers RV Sales and Campground on Thursday. The Tills had their folder thick with letters from 4-H kids from around the county.
“I love the handwritten ones — those are my favorites,” Andrea said. “I also like reading about all their 4-H adventures and their accomplishments in 4-H. One girl was a queen, another was president of their club. I like reading all about it. I love that they are making memories and they are all just great kids.”