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814-Lanc**ter Fuming, Saturday, Saptambar 10, 1994
Somerset Co. Correspondent
Co.) “Come back, Renee,” said
the auctioneer at die Somerset
County Fair’s junior Livestock
Sale. “We’ve just been told that
the buyer donates the lamb back to
Renee,” the auctioneer told the
buyers and spectators in the show
arena. Fifteen-year-old Renee
Korns attempted to exit the plat
form with her 118-pound Suffolk
lamb eight tidies, until the sale
committee, realizing that
95-market lambs were waiting to
be auctioned, called for an end.
Renee’s lamb was sold immedi
ately after the various champions.
When the eight bids were tallied,
the lamb brought $31.55 per
pound, or $3,723.
But there was a reason for the
madness, which didn’t end there.
Renee’s family had lost their
home the night before the county
fair opened. In fact, they had just
arrived home from delivering
lambs and Belgian horses to the
fairgrounds, and were settling in
for the evening when Darla Koms,
Renee’s mother saw flames in the
What didn’t bum was ruined by
water and smoke, so with dad,
Warren and sister, Megan, the
family basically lost everything.
They felt numb.
Then some sneaky friends,
including Mary Ann Sorber, a fair
director and sale committee mem
ber who believes that people
ought to help each other in times
of need, started a scheme to bene
fit the family. Some buyers were
found who would donate the
Sorber found a big container for
cash donations and left it in the
livestock bams. The idea was that
the Somerset Co. exhibitors could
be one buyer. They raised the
money to bid $8 a pound for the
lamb, the highest bid.
Of course, Sorber, looking as
guileless as the lamb, itself, was
kept busy all week whisking the
money jar out of sight when any of
the Koms family appeared.
“I was taken by surprise,” said
Renee, a sophomore at the Mey
ersdale Area High School. “I
thought it was going to be a nor
mal sale. But I’d walk out and
they would call me back and say
‘you aren’t done.’ I thought it was
a never-ending thing,” she
sold to 14 buyers and other exhibitors donated money from
their lambs to the Korns family to rebuild their house.
To Help Family
Later, the second lamb was sold
and donated back to the White
Oak 4-Her four times. One of
those buyers was Gambill Amuse
ments, Stubenville. Ohio, which
provided midway rides and games
during fair week.
Renee began to fear her lambs
would never be sold for real.
Under the circumstances she cer
tainly didn’t want to keep them.
To top that, proceeds from the
sale of several other lambs were
also donated to the Koms family
because Warren is a 4-H leader
and member of the sale commit
tee. That group included Fair
Queen Jennifer Randall who sold
two market lambs.
“It was the least I could do.”
remarked Randall, later.
Waiting while the other lambs
and steers were sold made a long
day for Renee.
When the last steer was sold,
the auctioneer asked the group to
clap their hands if they wanted
Renee to bring back the two ani
mals for more bidding. A few sec
onds passed. A six-hour sale had
everybody waried, anxious to
Then a few claps were heard.
They steadily increased. A last try.
James Yoder bought one for $1 a
pound. The other sold for $.75 a
pound to Lou Shredy of Laßue
Meats. What a relief!
Bidders on the first lamb were
Leroy Bittner. Meyersdale; Exhi
bitors and Friends of the Somerset
Co. Fair, John Dorn, Meyersdale;
Walker Farm Service, Somerset;
Singo Feed and Sons, Somerset;
Keystone Vacuum, Somerset;
Snyder of Berlin and Silver Valley
Farm owned by Cecil Petenbrink.
Lamb number two brought bids
from Gambill Amusements, Rit
co, Inc., Richard Sines, Meyers
dale and Mark’s Auto Sales,
Friedens. The total was $748.
Darla Koms, who after her
house was gone, had little interest
in the fair, came only on those
days their animals were being
shown. Her arrival at the sale was
in the nick of time to see Renee
and her first lamb. She was unpre
pared for what happened.
“It was overwhelming,” she
said, standing in the sheep bam
next to the lambs’ pen and wiping
The fire had started in the motor
of the electric clothes dryer, Darla
said. She and Renee were in the
Hearts And Wallets
Who Lost Everything
Chatting following the Somerset Co. Fair’s Junior Livestock Sale are from left,
Renee Koms, Daria Korns, Warren Korns, Mary Ann Sorber and Megan Korns. Sor
her helped plan a surprise benefit for the family who lost their house and household
goods Just before opening day of the fair.
Warren, a feed salesman for the noticed flames shooung through 3
Bedford Farm Bureau, a locally tl ) e laundry room, next to the “People have just been wonder
owned co-op, was tending the ani- kitchen. ful,” said Darla. “Renee is excited
mats at their small farm located Four fire companies responded about how much money her lambs
several miles away. scene. brought”
Until the house can be fully gut-
After watching the local televi- ted and rebuilt, the family is stay- Darla says although me unex
sion newscast that carried some ing with Darla’s parents, Mr. and pected aid will help to rebuild and
pre-fair clips, Daria began to read Mrs. Elwood Ackerman. They purchase necessary items, some ol
me newspaper. It was then that she live next door at Meyersdale, RD it must go toward Renee s future.
In official dress, Jason Tipton, president of the Somerset County FFA, displays the
first place blue ribbon won by the Meyersdaie FFA Chapter at its exhibit seen at the
Somerset County Fair. The theme was “Agriculture In the Year 2000. M
Somerset County FFA
Soys FFA Reversed
Somerset Co. Correspondent
Co.) Spend a few hours in the
company of 18-year-old Jason
Tipton, president of the Somerset
County FFA, and you’ll hear no
thing but praises.
“I wouldn’t trade it for any
thing.” he said while strolling at
the Somerset County Fair on 4-H
and FFA Day.
Jason wears the white shirt,
dark tie, and requisite royal blue,
corduroy FFA jacket Gold em
broidery at the right shoulder area
identifies him by name.
The words are confession of
sorts from a young man whose
lifestyle underwent radical change
after joining the Meyersdale FFA
Chapter in ninth grade.
At the time, Jason was looking
for an easy way an effortless
passage on to somewhere else.
FFA was just the ticket for such
transportation, he thought
“I basically got into it as a gag,
to be with my friends, but I learn
ed respect” said Jason. Trips to
Penn State and the University of
Pittsburgh at Johnstown with the
FFA exposed him to new people
and new situations. At home, pa
tient teachers combined with those
experiences to change Jason’s
“FFA isn’t just for farmers, it’s
for anybody,” said the president,"
“anybody who wants to better
“It's given so much to me. I
want to give back to it,” lie said.
“If you want to better yourself,
you’ve got to do it yourself.”
Standing erect in official dress,
Jason knows there is something
special about the FFA jacket It
causes people to notice you.
“If we’re dressed up in our FFA
jacket,” he said, “we get respect
We can go anywhere and we get
respect. If I’m in official dress. I
can talk freely,” said the Meyers
dale Area High School senior, for
mer chapter parliamentarian and
current chapter secretaty. John
Hartman is the adviser.
“There’s nothing like State
Days at Penn State because of the
kids you meet” said Jason, whose
maternal grandparents. Bill and
Jerry Bauer, raised Jason and twin
brother, Joey, after their mother
died. They moved here from War
ren County when Jason was
“In one word,” said Jason, “the
FFA is ‘Friendship’." That belief
became clear when, after losing
(Turn to Pago BIS)