Roby Livestock Boosters 2nd Annual Dinner, Dance & Auction
The Roby Livestock Boosters Dinner and Auction was held over the week end, an event that raises thousands for the county’s young stock show contestants and continues to grow each year.
It was a small group of parents that started the auction last year as a way to ease the Fisher County Livestock Association’s burden of preparing for the local stock show, while also trying to raise money to help the young participants. Coming off the huge success of last year’s inaugural event, the Roby Livestock Boosters Dinner and Auction hosted roughly 300 people Saturday night.
The purpose of the event is to raise money to assist with offsetting the costs associated with the purchase, feeding, and caring of livestock for the young Roby FFA and Fisher County 4-H members. Riley Barnett, former ag teacher at Roby CISD and parent organization member said the group of citizens wanted to do something to help the Roby Livestock Boosters raise funds.
“We didn’t want to take away from, we wanted to add to the great things that were going on and to do our part,” said Barnett. “The men and women involved during both years have been amazing, and it’s incredible to see the level of support from our neighbors.”
Barnett said the group works to acquire donors pretty much all year long, offering sponsorships ranging from the bronze package and graduating up to the platinum and diamond, and each is represented at the stock show with promotional banners.
The group also reaches out to businesses throughout the region.
In addition to monetary donations, businesses and individuals also donate a variety of items that are bid on during silent auctions and the main live auction that accompanies the dinner. Rough Creek Catering out of Rotan provided this year’s dinner.
“It’s always easier to ask people for money after you feed them great food,” said Barnett. “The money goes a long way to help the kids out, especially giving the cost of purchasing the animals, and that’s even counting the feed and things needed to care for them.”
Some of the bigger items to bid on during this year’s live auction were a Traeger Grill that was donated by Quality Implement in Rotan and a Hustler zero-turn lawn mower donated by Hurst Plumbing Supply in Snyder. “Every time we ask them to help they always support our kiddos, and then show up to the auction to donate more. They never tell us no,” said Barnett.
Of course, the donators, parents, and event organizers are not the only ones involved in raising money or preparing for the auction, the students also join in to help. “Our goal is to help the kids to be successful, but we really want them to be a part of it too. What they take away from being involved in the whole process is just as important as the money we raise,” said Barnett.
Everyone assumes different responsibilities. Just about every student goes out and sells tickets. Others to out to promote the event and locate additional auction items. Later, many show up to help prepare the Longworth Event Center for auction night, then stick around to help clean up afterward.
“When people are called on, it’s amazing to see what people will do for their communities,” said Barnett.
The auction raised enough to provide an average of $700 per stock show contestant last year, and this year’s event could have possibly raised even more. The group strives to be as fair with the funds as possible, depending on how each contestant ranks during the show.
The local show is not a terminal show, meaning the kids get to earn money depending on their placement but retain ownership. The money raised at the auction goes to helping kids get a little further down the road. The funds were a huge benefit last year, as many shows across the state were canceled due to the spread of the coronavirus.
As the Fort Worth Stock has already been canceled this year, the kids might be limited in possible events after the local show. Dates for the Fisher County Junior Livestock Show are January 16 for pigs, sheep, and goats and January 23 for steers and the premium sale, to be held at the Longworth Wedding and Event Center.