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August 5, 2009 > Hospital Supports Youth Livestock Auction at the Alameda County Fair

Hospital Supports Youth Livestock Auction at the Alameda County Fair

Local Children Learn Lifelong Skills Along the Way

For many young people who go to the Alameda County Fair, it isn't just fun and games. Last month, girls and boys participating in the 4-H livestock project sold their farm animals at the Junior Livestock Auction. Washington Hospital has a long tradition of supporting children at this auction and this year, Kent Joraanstad, Chief of Rehabilitation & Education Services purchased 16 animals on behalf of the Hospital during the auction.

"The event gives Washington Hospital the chance to help the children and local farm and agricultural organizations by bidding on the livestock," says Kent. "These children put in a lot of hard work for several months to raise quality animals and the Hospital has always been a strong advocate of community organizations and projects, helping to give back to the residents of Washington Township."

Participating children select a calf, hog or lamb from a local ranch, raise it specifically for the market and then auction it at the fair each July. The livestock that is purchased is processed and then used to feed patients and employees at the Hospital. This year, the Hospital purchased nearly $29,000 worth of livestock at the junior auction.

Regina Weir, a Washington Hospital Service League Volunteer has two grandchildren that participate in raising farm animals. This year, her 12-year-old granddaughter Kamryn raised three pigs and one of them was purchased by Washington Hospital.
According to Weir, this was the fifth year that her granddaughter raised livestock.

"Everyday, Kamryn was responsible for feeding, washing and cleaning up after the pigs and she also recorded the medical history of the pigs and charted their shots and vitamin intake." says Weir. "Many hours are spent to ensure that the animals are on the right diet and that they're not overweight before they are weighed at the auction."

According to Weir, both her granddaughter and grandson have really enjoyed raising animals for the Alameda County Fair. For Kamryn, her daily rituals began early every morning before school to feed the pigs and then after school, she would feed them again and clean up after them.

"Caring for livestock builds responsibility and it also helps children develop teamwork and leadership skills," adds Weir. "The children that get involved in these activities are learning important life lessons along the way."

To learn more about community programs supported by Washington Hospital, visit www.whhs.com.

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