Bash smashes fundraising record

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, December 6, 2017

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Big Time Bash

BIG-TIME BASH – A large crowd attended the Wise Youth Ag Syndicate’s third annual Blue Ribbon Bash Friday night. Donations are expected to top $100,000, setting an event record. Submitted photo

Money raised at the third annual Wise Youth Ag Syndicate Blue Ribbon Bash Friday night is expected to top $100,000 – a record for the event.

Event chair Melanie Tittor said it was the group’s most successful event to-date.

“I loved the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd that night,” she said. “In a year where the economy is still struggling, it’s nice to know in our third year we’re still gaining support, and I think people are better understanding what our organization is about and our goals.”

The Ag Syndicate was created in 2015 to breathe life into the Youth Fair auction by securing live buyers and operating as its own buying group, purchasing reserve champion lots, as well as breed and division champs. Last year the group was also able to add money to every lot that went through the sale, in addition to the projects they purchased outright.

About 375 people attended Friday’s dinner, and they had the opportunity to make donations through the live auction, silent auction, raffles and contribution cards. The hot ticket auction item, raising $29,500, was a Colt Commander 1911 with custom engraving and silver inlay by Michael Tittor of Tittor’s Buckles and Spurs. It sold twice – first to Leslie and Denise Oates with L/O Trucking for $14,500, and then he donated it back to be sold again. The second time it sold for $15,000 to Jim and Shaneece Coffman.

Melanie Tittor said she “was in awe.”

“It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever been part of. We knew it had the potential to be our highest selling item,” she said of her husband’s handiwork. “We had sent pictures around the county all week trying to build interest, and it didn’t disappoint.

“It was pretty intense. People were whooping and hollering as the bids went up,” she said. “They broke out into cheers and applause multiple times.”

Both buyers received a standing ovation for their donation. The gun was purchased and donated by Decatur Livestock, Cocanougher Cattle and Bluett Feeders LLC. Tittor put 100 hours of work into the gun.

A few other items sold in the live auction included a stay at the Lowrance cabin in Pagosa Springs, Colo., an AR-15, a guided hunt on the Waggoner Sauder/Nine Bar Ranch, Wise County 4-H Dessert of the Month and cookers built by local FFA chapters.

Syndicate President Lisa Bradshaw said guests generated excitement for the cause at this year’s Bash.

“It’s an event for people to give back to the Youth Fair, and people are starting to understand our cause,” she said. “I feel like we’re a good blend of Wise County, and we’re working to help the youth of the county and promote agriculture.

“We’re very proud of what we’re doing.”

Tittor said many people were introduced to their group for the first time this year, which will help spread their message, and several even committed to participating in the Youth Fair auction.

“We had 10 new, committed buyers that had not previously been participating,” she said, “and that’s our goal – to bring that back to a live auction.

“We feel like a lot of people left saying ‘this is a cool thing. We want to be part of this.'”

And they’ll have their chance. Next year’s Blue Ribbon Bash is Friday, Nov. 30, at the Decatur Conference Center.

“Considering this year’s numbers, I think there will definitely be some added excitement about next year’s event,” Tittor said.

To make a donation to the Syndicate, call Tittor at 940-389-5052; or Bradshaw at 940-627-4567. Donations can also be mailed to P.O. Box 610, Bridgeport, TX 76426.

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