Grange Fair Showcases Teens' Generous Spirit
The annual Grange Fair offers young people a chance to show off their talents.
And this year, those talents included a selfless display of generosity by several caring State College teens.
Scores of kids competed in the 43rd annual Centre County Junior Livestock Sale last August. They stood to pocket some big money when they sold off their animals. But when the auctioneer's gavel fell, three students from State College High School offered the proceeds to charity.
Cody Harpster, Madison Campbell and Chelsea Bilyeu are all officers of the State College Little Lions Future Farmers of America Chapter. They donated more than $6,000 to medical research. All of them had personal connections to the causes they decided to support. And all three put in a lot of hard work to make it happen.
Cody Harpster sold his market hog to HRI, Inc. in State College for $1,350. That money was donated directly to the Penn State University-Hershey Pediatric Cancer Research Center. Harpster says, "A good friend of mine, who I have grown up showing with, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer this past year. I wanted to do something special for the family."
Madison Campbell's market hog sold for $2,200. The animal was purchased by Joel Confer Ford and Swartz Fire Safety Inc. Campbell donated the money to the Janet Weis Children's Hospital at Geisinger in Danville Pa. Her decision to help others was rooted in her own experiences. Campbell had a brain tumor removed in 2009 after she began having seizures.
"As a part of my senior project I decided to give back to people who helped me through a rough part of my life," she says. "I knew I wanted to give back to something that's impacted my life in so many ways, hoping that my donation would impact others as much as the hospital impacted mine."
Chelsea Bilyeu sold her lamb for $2,500 to Centre Concrete of State College. She's donating the money to the Mt. Nittany Medical Center's Cancer Department.
"I wanted to do something that gave back to others," Bilyeu says. "The biggest thing that I could think of was to donate money to a cancer department. My uncle had passed away two years ago from the disease and so that played a big part in my life."
Those three young people spent hundreds of hours and some of their own money raising their animals. They've learned the benefits of hard work. More importantly, they've taught their community the art of giving.