Lifestyle & Human Interest

Teen Decides Not To Keep Money from Auctioning His 230-Lb. Hog, Instead Raises $11,000 for St. Jude


The Medina County Fair is a summer highlight for folks living in the Ohio region, with crowds flocking to the annual event for fun, food, livestock auctions and unforgettable community memories.

This year’s fair proved to be particularly memorable for a set of three brothers who participated in the Medina County junior fair livestock auction with their hogs.

According to The Medina Gazette, Austin and Logan Letner have a tradition of raising one of their hogs with the intent of giving all the proceeds to charity.

“Our parents asked us one day if we wanted to donate the pig or keep the money. And we, of course, said donate it,” Austin Letner, 14, told the Gazette. “We thought about it for a bit, which charity we wanted to give it to, and we really liked St. Jude.”

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In 2018, Austin’s brother Logan raised $1500 from the sale of his hog for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

This year, it was Austin’s turn, and the teen set a goal of raising $1000 for the same charity, putting his 230-pound hog Millhouse up for auction.

As Austin stood with his brothers during the auction, they listened as the auctioneer, Chuck Stiver, told the crowd that all money raised would be going to St. Jude.

The brothers were thrilled when the bidding reached a generous $12 per pound, putting Austin well over his goal with $2,760.

But the Medina Fair community was not done with Millhouse just yet.

A local butcher made a $500 donation to add to Austin’s total, The Gazette reported.

Then, the auctioneer invited others to keep the generosity flowing by adding one dollar per pound to the St. Jude fund.

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Austin’s parents, Jamie and Stacey Letner, watched in shock as 28 business owners pledged to pay the additional amount.

“It was a sea of cards that just came up,” Jamie Letner, Austin’s father, told WXIN.

Thanks to the generosity of community members, Austin raised over $11,000 dollars, WXIN reported, leaving everyone in tears.

“It was a privilege to do that,” auctioneer Stiver told The Gazette. “A real honor.”

“All the way through here there wasn’t a dry eye from the biggest burliest men to the highest paid-guy in here. Everybody was just tearing up and crying, they were so proud of these boys and themselves,” Jamie Letner said. “They should be extremely proud of themselves for coming and supporting these children.”

Austin’s mother is proud that her son has a heart for kids battling cancer.

“It’s just so heartwarming and it makes you feel good as a parent that my children chose to donate some of their money, instead of keeping it for themselves,” Stacey Letner said. “They could have done a lot with that money, but instead they chose to help kids and families who need it more than they do.”

Austin agreed that St. Jude patients should have one less burden to worry about.

“The people that we are donating the money to, they need the money more than we do,” he said. “No kid should have cancer.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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