FFA member gives away auction funds

By Charles Guest / cguest@losbanosenterprise.comMay 10, 2013 

On Saturday, a special auction was held at the Merced County Spring Fair in Los Banos.

About 3:30 p.m., Dustin Ford, son of local businessman Robert Ford, appeared in the sale ring with a special lamb.

Livestock sales had been going on for most of the day, with 4-H and FFA members selling animals they had raised.

The funds from these sales are used for many purposes. Some use the money to support more livestock projects, others put it toward their college educations and, of course, a few like to spend it on something fun.

Dustin Ford's lamb, however, was up for sale for a much different purpose.

The proceeds from his sale were destined to help pay medical bills incurred by the late Kathy Lieb, wife of Los Banos Enterprise Publisher Gene Lieb.

She died last month after a 3½-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

As Ford entered the ring with his lamb, everyone knew something about this sale was different.

The lamb was draped with a blanket that read, "In memory of Kathy Lieb 4-15-1963 to 4-10-2013." The blanket carried a photograph of Kathy Lieb taken in June 2012 during the celebration of the Liebs' 25th wedding anniversary.

The crowd was told that it was Ford's wish to assist the Liebs, who are family friends, by donating all of the proceeds from the sale of his lamb to help with her medical expenses.

Then the bidding began. It peaked at $75 per pound for the 142-pound animal Ford had named Outlaw -- that's $10,650.

When the final bid was announced, the crowd gave a standing ovation.

As for "Outlaw," his immediate destination was not the slaughterhouse because the winning bidder put the animal up for resale.

Last year, Ford sold another lamb during the Merced County Spring Fair, donating those proceeds to the American Cancer Society -- in the name of Kathy Lieb.

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