MARIETTA - It was business as usual at the Washington County Jr. Fair Large Animal Sale Tuesday night, that is, until one of the 84 market lambs up for auction was bid up and sold for $10,500, with its proceeds going directly to a nonprofit organization.
Fort Frye senior KyLynn Buchanan, 17, had made plans for the proceeds made from one of her two market lamb entries to go to BrAva Fight, a local nonprofit aimed at fighting childhood cancer, but had no idea that bidders would raise the stakes to more than 10 times what many of its counterparts went for.
"We kind of expected maybe a couple thousand because it's such a great nonprofit, but not that much," Buchanan said.
The highest bidder went to Family Ford and Pioneer Chevrolet of Marietta, collectively, which won out against what Buchanan thought was about 20 other bidders.
OSU Extension Office educator Tracy Waite said the atmosphere was positive.
"This kind of thing just happens every now and then, but it's always exciting," she said.
After hearing that a fellow Junior Fair participant donated one of his own animals to the foundation, Buchanan decided it was the right thing to do.
"I really don't need the money, because my family has its own farm," she said. "We have our own sheep, and my dad pays for the feed."
BrAva Fight will receive nearly the entire sum, putting a large dent in its fundraising goals for the year that go toward families of children fighting cancer.
"Our goal this year was to donate $10,000 to CureSearch, but we've only been able to do about $7,000 in the past few years," said Desni Crock, one of the founders of BrAva. "We promised it to CureSearch, and we knew it would bring our money down so significantly, enough so that it was frightening."
During a meeting for BrAva's annual 5K race, committee members all began receiving Facebook notifications about the sale.
"We thought it was a typo," Crock said. "We were speechless, and a lot of tears were shed."
Buchanan's other lamb sold for $825, and she said she plans to save that profit for college and future expenses for raising animals, for which she has one more year left of qualification.
"The Mid-Ohio-Valley kids have really supported BrAva," Crock said. "They come up with the fundraisers and their parents support them, and it's amazing."