Aug 5, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff WriterVinnie Dalbow donated animals to benefit area families in need during his second and third years of showing hogs at the Fremont County Fair and Rodeo.
Last year, with the help of his parents, Michelle and Vince Dalbow, he decided to raffle one to benefit the Tough Enough to Help Cancer Fund and raised about $1,100.
"I'm sort of happy to know that people with cancer might have enough money to get more treatments," said the Wind River Middle School seventh-grader.
In his fifth year at the fair, Vinnie, 12, is again using a hog to raise money through the purchase of raffle tickets sold by his fellow Tri-Valley 4-H Club members. The drawing will be Sept. 10.
Michelle Dalbow said her son's ability to donate a hog is because Bryce Westlake in Pavillion is doing the meat processing for free.
The Tough Enough to Help Cancer Fund became the focus of Vinnie's raffle through connections with Teresa Nirider, who organizes the cancer awareness auction during one night of the fair's rodeo, Michelle Dalbow said.
"We've gone to the rodeo the past few years and saw they auctioned off the chaps," she said.
Nirider commended Vinnie and his family for their generosity.
"I think that demonstrates the strength of our youth," she said. "It demonstrates that our kids are very compassionate, and they're very much part of our community, and they want to help. And that's huge."
Because each fair participant can sell one animal through Saturday's Junior Livestock Auction, the youth can sell others through the nearby sale barn at an upcoming event.
Instead, Vinnie raffles his extra animal.
"They always have extras, so with the extra, we decided to donate," his mom said.
Vinnie's younger sister, Andrea, 10, is also contributing to the donation.
"She's going to run her hog through the sale barn, which took reserve champion at the jackpot," their mother said.
"With the proceeds from that, she has to pay her brother some of that to help with the donation," she said.
The hog for the raffle is Tie, a blue butt pig that weighs 265 pounds.
"I picked him because he's probably got the most meat in all of them, but he's the lightest" so he will get less at auction, Vinnie said.
Andrea, dressed in a T-shirt that says "Tough Enough" and is decorated with sparkles and a pink ribbon, has high hopes for her reserve champion hog named Toast.
The name came from a simple fact: "Because he's usually sunburned," she said.
Vinnie said the reserve champion is a strong hog.
"He's got a lot of muscling in his hind quarters, and his loins really pop out, and when he walks he's really flexible in the joints," he said. "He's also deep-ribbed."
Hogs have been the animal of choice for Vinnie since he started with the fair.
"When they're around dogs, they act like dogs," he said. "They start climbing up the fence to get petted. They run around and roll around in sawdust and stuff."
Michelle Dalbow said the donation is a way to return gratitude toward the community.
"I've just always felt the community supports us," she said. "Our community does a lot to support all these kids at fair."
Raffle tickets cost $2 each and the Tri-Valley 4-H Club -- one of the largest 4-H groups in the county consisting of roughly 100 children from Hidden Valley, Paradise Valley and Missouri Valley -- will have them available.
Tickets are also available at the Berry Patch store at 1255 N. Federal Blvd. in Riverton.
Nirider said she appreciates the support for the cancer fund.
"Any donations that we receive are going to help sustain our fund," she said.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.