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Amazing Grace Sioux County sophomore donates to fire relief fund
August 12, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Courtesy Photo by Steve Flower Sioux County High School student Grace Skavdahl donated all the profits from the sale of her steer at this year’s Scotts Bluff County Fair to the Prairie Center Fire Relief Fund. Galen Larson joins her in the show ring.

One of the big events at county fairs has traditionally been the livestock sale, where 4-H and FFA members show off their hard work and hopefully recoup some of the expenses from raising their animals. At this year’s Scotts Bluff County Fair, one young lady became a role model for her peers with a most generous donation.

Grace Skavdahl, who will be a sophomore at Sioux County High School this fall, was showing her steer in the junior livestock division at the Scotts Bluff County Fair. She’s been involved in 4-H since she was 8 years old.

Until she entered the sale ring, members of the sale committee were unaware that someone in high school had decided to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of her steer to the Prairie Center Fire Relief Fund.

The Skavdahl family lives on a ranch in Sioux County and witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of the Prairie Center Fire. It started on July 10 with a lightning strike near Lingle, Wyoming. Before it was contained, the fire scorched some 25,000 acres of land from eastern Goshen County in Wyoming to western Sioux County in Nebraska. Numerous outbuildings, fences and nearly 70 head of cattle were lost in the blaze.

“A lot of the ranchers were affected by the fires,” Grace said. “We could actually see the fires from our house and several family members helped fight them.”

After she realized the amount of help that would be needed to recover, Grace decided to help out in a very tangible way. Her steer brought in five dollars a pound.

Once sales committee members were aware of Grace’s donation, they made sure everyone attending the sale also knew. That generated even more donations. Several other individuals and businesses donated another $5,000 to the relief fund. One of them was Steve Flower, Sales Manager with Wolf Auto, who also helps with the fair livestock sale.

“I was extremely proud of Grace for her generous donation and it’s a great gesture on her part,” he said. “This is what agriculture is all about. Even in tough times, people reach out to help others in need.”

Kate Schmer with the Scotts Bluff County Fair Junior Livestock Sale Committee agreed. “Grace did an incredible thing. I think the other kids in 4-H and FFA should look at her as a role model. It was a very selfless thing to do.”

Now that it’s a wrap for the Scotts Bluff County Fair, Grace said she had a good time showing her steer. “I’m pleased that everyone was willing to help me contribute to people in need,” she said. “I just wanted to help out any way I could.”
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