This addiction that we have called stock showing takes money. Every town or county raises money to support the kids with their projects. Trophy auctions are popular in this part of the world. Operating a Deere dealership means that we get hit up from every school in the area. It gets old making donations, but that is part of it. Tammy and I also personally donate to a couple. Waynoka’s was last night. For the past fifteen years, this has been the best trophy auction in this part of the world. Hutch’s always provides a heck of a meal. The mothers have a phenomenal dessert table. There will be a silent auction of forty or fifty items. The area auctioneers all work together to sell the trophies. The kids are in their FFA/4-H dress and serve the tables.
The usual grand champions, breed champions and showmanships are sold. But they also sell items such as semi loads of rock. David Litzenberger donates the hauling of the rock with his trucks. They also sell silver dollars. Tri-K equipment in Alva used to donate three silver dollars to the auction when I was teaching there. We sold these three silver dollars for 50 or 60 dollars apiece in 1996. As the trophy auction began to build and bring more money, stranger things began to happen. Somebody would buy a silver dollar for one or two hundred and then say “sell it again!”. That round dollar might sell 3 or 4 times and bring $600 before it was done. Take that times three and it adds up in a hurry.
Tri K became Western Equipment and they still donate silver dollars to Waynoka. They do this to several other places, but it works better in Waynoka. They sold four of them last night. The first three were sold. Two were sold several times. The second brought $200 on the first bidder and Poe kept it. The third one sold several times. Then the fourth one. They were bringing $350 to $450 each time it sold. Then Tony Houston offered his for sale again. I bought it for $500. “Sell it again!” Poe Cat felt guilty about his $200 dollar so he had them sell it again. You’ll catch some crap if you keep one. But somebody has to. I don’t know what the final tally on the dollars was but they brought in several thousand dollars. Now mind, you, if you haven’t bought a silver dollar at a bank lately, they don’t cost a dollar.
I had to get some papers signed and checks collected on equipment after the sale, so I didn’t get to hear the total auction results but it was nearing $50 thousand. This is a town of 700 people. There is one cafe, two quick stops, one bank. It is not a big town. The people just get it. The teachers all throw a few dollars together and buy something every year. Ryan Redgate gets his feed dealers to donate. The COOP gets their suppliers to donate something. The bank gets their lawyers and office supply stores to donate. The oilfield people get other companies to donate. Poe might even put stipulations on people that he deals with that they have to attend and spend money. “It would be in their best interest.” One of those companies spent over $2,000. Even the LEGEND, though retired, still gathers and spends money. Everybody collects donations–no amount to small. It is fun watching people with their papers with all of their donations listed–$20 here, $200 there and $100 there, trying to match them together and buy trophies and not lose track. You might have four buyers on one trophy. But it all ads up. Everybody gets their name listed in the newspapers, listed on the wall at the local show and EVERYBODY gets a handwritten thank you card–wether you donate $5, $2,000 or ball cap for the silent auction. And 100% of the money is spent on the kids at the local show. Not a bad pay day.
Thank you to all who donate and raise money for kids in order to fund these projects. Whether it is a state, national, county, district or local show, it takes people donating time and money. Thank you. Money spent on kids is always money well spent.