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Contestants for the Suwannee River Fair are told not to get too close to their animals, make them pets or name them. It makes parting with them after the sale emotionally hard.
Chandler Beach, 10, of Buckaroo 4-H in Trenton did something different with his 255-pound pig.
"I told him he was going for a good cause," Beach said, after No. 132 on the sales list went for $59 a pound at the youth livestock sale on March 21. And the bids are still coming in.
The record bid for a pig came after fair volunteer David Allen overheard Beach tell another entrant he would be giving the money from the sale of his pig to Corbin Wiggins, an 18-year-old Trenton athlete who is battling cancer for the second time in a year.
"The glory goes to God and the money goes to Corbin," Chandler said.
Beach said he learned about Wiggins from reading the newspaper. The two first met at Trenton's Quilt Festival on March 10, Wiggins said in an interview on Tuesday. “My mom told me about it,” Wiggins said. “I was like wow, he's doing this and he didn't even know me.”
The volunteer told volunteer Michelle Crawford who told Fair President Loran Brookins. Crawford, at Brookins' direction, told auctioneer Carrol Cannon of Ty Ty, Ga..
Cannon announced it to the jam-packed arena where Wiggins' mom, Angie, sat with Chandler's grandparents, Jennifer and Robert Beach. Corbin, who is in his third week of chemotherapy, missed the sale because he ran a fever the night before.
"I didn't know that he was going to announce that," Angie Wiggins said. "It was crazy. Anderson-Columbia bought it for $8 (a pound) and then everybody started bidding on it. We were holding each other and we couldn't breathe. I was overwhelmed and pleased."
Chandler had already relinquished the pig to the market buyer and went to meet his mother, Misty Beach.
At the same time other companies, buying groups and individuals started bidding up a dollar or two per pound for Beach's pig. "I had no idea what was happening," Misty Beach said. "We had left and they came and told us to come back that the bidding was going on."
When they returned to the arena, bidding was at $37 a pound and it did not stop until it hit $50 a pound. "We had to stop the sale to get caught up (on the buyers' paperwork)
we were getting so many bids," Brookins said. Brookins said the response from the community had everyone on the auction podium in tears. He was in the sales arena and he said it made him teary.
By 3 p.m. the pig had raised $59 per pound. By 6 p.m. It was $69 a pound. March 22 a Facebook posting had it at $75 a pound. Brookins said the Fair will keep bidding open until Friday, March 30. He is taking the bids and buyer's information at 352-221-5935. "It's just pretty amazing," Brookins said. "We've never had this happen before."
Because Corbin Wiggins turned 18 just as his cancer returned he missed out on receiving a trip to Disney World from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. His mother said he will be able to take the trip with the auction proceeds.
"I told him I want him to have fun with it," Beach said. "I think he's going to have a good time."
Wiggins said he has not been to Disney World since he was a child. He's leaving the planning to her because he is busy commuting to Gainesville for treatments and getting ready for the prom on April 6. He's already got a black tux chosen that he will wear with an orange tie to match the color of his date's dress.
Wiggins, who just got his Class of 2013 class ring and is getting used to the weight on his right hand, said while he wasn't able to finish basketball season, he has been able to dress out with the baseball team and expects to do so again after the Branford game.
Beach said it was not his decision to donate the money to Wiggins. "God put this on my heart," Beach said. "It just came to me."
Misty Beach said her son told her of the plan several weeks ago. "When he woke up he was extremely excited and said he had something to tell me." When she finally heard his announcement, she could hardly believe it.
"We told him he would walk away with a loss and he said no m'am I walk away with a gain." She added, "I just can't thank the buyers enough."
That's a message Angie and Corbin Wiggins repeated on Tuesday.
As for Chandler, he said once God gave him this mission, "It made me feel happy and calm." That is until he reached the sales ring. "Then I was nervous. I wanted there to be enough for Corbin."
The Beaches decided not to discuss the plans with anyone outside the family. That is, until Wednesday after lunch when the volunteer asked Chandler what he would do with the money from his first fair pig.
What did Chandler get from all this?
"I learned that I did something right."