By Regina Elling
There was a spirit of community and generosity to be found in this year’s Junior Livestock Fair annual barbecue and pie auction. The major fundraiser for Ramona Junior Fair, this year’s friendly rivalries made the event a record breaker, both in attendance and the amount of money raised.
By the time the barbecue was ready a little after 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, the crowd numbered well over 200 people. By the time the pie auction began at 6 p.m., a record crowd — estimated at nearly 500 — filled the livestock area of the Ramona Junior Fairgrounds off Aqua Lane.
The combined total of dinners sold and items auctioned amounted to $17,500. Last year, the combined amount was $17,273.
Junior Fair President Robby Storton and Pie Auction Chair Crissy Tobiason, although as exhausted as everyone else at the end of the long night, were thrilled with the turnout and the results.
As expected, the food was delicious and plentiful. But as the youngsters began setting up the various baked goods and delicacies for viewing, nearly everyone was thinking they could make room for dessert. After all, the youth had been working for weeks on the event — preparing the fairgrounds, making their confections, and selling, selling, selling throughout the evening. It was hard for anyone to resist the bidding wars.
The top 10 buyers and their contributions included Specialty Meats Butcher Shop and Full Service Deli of Escondido, Bob and Carol Trimble, $1,160; John Scott Roofing, $750; Yogurt Barn, Jim and Lauri Youngblood, $665; Andy and Ramona Robinson, $615; Rick Aspin, $530; Hankins Construction, $495; Kim and Ray Bowen, $470; Terri Mansir, $430; the Buchanan Family, $420; and Matt Parker Hay Co., $410.
The crowd’s generosity was also in abundance when it came time for the annual “pie in the face.” This year, the designated pie was auctioned off with a twist; instead of a town dignitary receiving a messy, but delicious, desert, the winners were given two spoons.
In lieu of the tradition of sharing a piece of wedding cake, newlyweds Levi and Lauren Gassaway shared a piece of pie. Although it was their first day of wedded bliss, the couple chose to attend the auction, where Levi was auctioneer. Add-ons were thrown in for the couple to share a public kiss, much to the delight of onlookers. The shared pie netted Ramona Junior Fair $430 from the Tobiason family and the kiss generated $180 from numerous bidders, for a combined total of $610.
Of course, everyone present was quick to point out that the money spent wasn’t about how good the individual desserts tasted — each and every homemade dessert was described as delicious — but about supporting the hardworking youth of the Ramona Junior Fair.
Some of the adults involved with the event stated that the supporters of the program consist of the parents, local business owners, and community minded individuals who see the bright side of the future.
“The kids are our future, and it is important to send the exhibitors out into the world with the skills and confidence to be the neighbors and citizens we want making decisions for our future,” said Tobiason.
Ramona Junior Fair and Livestock Auction is set for July 28 through Aug. 5, at the Ramona Junior Fairgrounds, 431 Aqua Lane. The Junior Fair is organized and operated totally through the volunteer efforts of community leaders and participating 4-H, FFA, and Grange clubs.