At the Great Frederick Fair’s Youth Livestock Auction on Saturday in Frederick, Maryland, 11-year-old Delaney Clark stepped into the arena with her steer, Oakley, for a purpose greater than her next 4-H project -— she was there to support a friend in need.
Jana Inskeep, another 11-year-old member of the Frederick County 4-H community, had recently received a heartbreaking leukemia diagnosis and had been hospitalized just weeks before the fair’s commencement, the Frederick News Post reported. On that Saturday, an overwhelming surge of support engulfed Inskeep from her friends in agriculture and the wider community.
Clark, reflecting on her decision, shared, “My mom and I were discussing the sale of my steer, and suddenly, we had this spontaneous idea: ‘How about we allocate 10% to Jana?’”
In a touching gesture, Clark’s sentiment was echoed in a note read aloud by the auction announcer, Josh Ruby: “We love you, Jana. Fight hard.”
Many others within the 4-H and agricultural community also rallied behind Inskeep, collectively raising approximately $130,000 on that remarkable Saturday.
Emily Ruby, who worked alongside her husband, Josh, in the auction business, praised the community’s unwavering support in times of emergency, stating, “In times of need, they stand shoulder to shoulder and extend as much help as possible.”
Clark’s steer found a buyer in the Derby Bar & Grill in New Market, fetching a commendable $5,000, with $500 thoughtfully allocated to support the Inskeep family. Clark expressed her hope that this money could provide her friend with nourishing meals during her hospital stay.
As Inskeep watched a livestream of the auction from her hospital room, her twin sister, Jacy, and older sister, Jordyn, took up the mantle and showcased the animals she had raised before falling ill. Fellow 4-H members enthusiastically greeted Jana Inskeep through the camera, ensuring she remained a part of this heartwarming event.
The crowning jewel of the auction was undoubtedly Inskeep’s 1,380-pound steer, drawing immense interest from more than two dozen individuals and businesses. Remarkably, after initially being sold, the steer was selflessly donated back to the auction for another round of bidding.
Ultimately, the sale of Inskeep’s steer yielded a remarkable $57,000 for the Inskeep family. Collectively, the community contributed a staggering $79,500 for the steer, a turkey, and a pig that Inskeep had lovingly cared for.
Emily Ruby commended the altruism displayed by Delaney Clark and fellow 4-H members, including Zack Mills, Kaylee Mathews, and Lexi Bureau, all of whom donated a portion of their animal sale proceeds to support Inskeep. In addition, Wolfe Auction contributed by donating the proceeds from the sale of the “Wolfe Pig,” adding an additional $4,250 to the cause.
Additional funds flowed in through the Wolfe Pig Fund, where individuals committed to contributing extra funds on top of their auction bids. Emily Ruby revealed that nearly $90,000, in total, was raised through the sale of Inskeep’s animals, donations from 4-H participants, and the Wolfe Pig sale, with an additional $42,000 arriving from the community through the Wolfe Pig fund.
Wolfe Auctions continues to welcome donations on its website, with the entirety of these donations earmarked for Inskeeps’s benefit.
Emily Ruby also noted that other barns at the fair were actively collecting donations, and, as of Sunday, the final tally had yet to be determined, leaving the door open for further increases in the total amount raised.
Josh Ruby aptly summarized the spirit of unity and support, stating, “I can tell you after many years of being around here, every time that any 4-H’er has ever struggled or ever been in need, this is the way this community has always come together. There’s no words. That’s community right there.”