As a teacher at Evansville High School, I had gotten to know Waylon very well throughout his freshmen year. When I made the announcement that I was leaving teaching in order to do as much fundraising as I could to support Beat Nb in finding a cure for neuroblastoma, Waylon visited my classroom the following morning.
He said, “Mrs. K, I really wish you weren’t leaving, but I talked it over with my parents and I’d like to give you this for your cause. For Harlow. For Beat Nb.” In his hand, he presented me with $52 wadded up dollars. I immediately contacted his mom to find out if she was aware of his donation, but she was well aware of why I called. With his parents’ blessing and support, Waylon made his first donation to Beat Nb in Harlow’s name… but it didn’t end there.
Waylon came back to me a couple weeks later and said, “Mrs. Katzenmeyer, you’ll never guess what I did this weekend!! I planted a 3-Acre pumpkin patch!!! I want to grow the pumpkins and sell them in the fall…for Harlow”. Again, I was speechless; what do you say to a 15-year old young man who is dedicating himself to the well being of others? Unbeknown to me, he was just getting started…
Waylon and his siblings enjoy participating in the county 4H fair projects each year. They take great pride in purchasing (from their own savings), raising, and caring for pigs and turkeys as they prepare to display them annually at the county fair. Waylon had purchased two pigs for the 2018 fair and was determined to sell one of them at the meat animal sale…for Harlow.
He decided he could sell one of his pigs to cover his project expenses and sell the other one for Harlow. However; when it came time to weigh in for the fair, Waylon’s “Harlow” pig didn’t “make weight” so he was prohibited from selling that one in the public animal sale. This was a considerable setback for Waylon since he’d now have to find a private buyer for his “Harlow” pig and have faith that he’d make enough to pay his expenses. Without a second thought Waylon decided to sell his remaining pig for Harlow, even if it meant taking a loss on his projects for the year.
Friday, July 27, 2018 Waylon Klitzman prepared to sell his only “eligible” pig to an audience full of bidders as the auctioneer introduced him…
“This is Waylon Klitzman. He will be a sophomore at Evansville High School and is a member of the Evansville 4H Club. Today he will be donating the money from the sale of his pig to Beat Nb in honor of a little girl in his community named Harlow Phillips. Harlow is currently being treated for neuroblastoma. She has had many treatments and has been in the hospital a lot in the last several months. She is only 4 years old. He wants to donate to Beat Nb to help find a cure for Harlow so she can just be a kid and not have to fight the beast anymore.”
After a round of applause and standing ovation, bidding started fast and before we knew it, the winning bid was made by E&D Water Works of Janesville at $11.50/lb!! As the auctioneer congratulated the winner, the E&D representative donated the pig back to the sale to be sold AGAIN!!! Waylon’s smile spread wide across his face. INCREDIBLE!! The bidding opened a second time and a second winner, Chambers and Owen, won the pig for another $10.25/lb and again…they donated the pig back to the sale!!!
Waylon made his way back to the front for the 3rd time! Moll Construction purchased the 3rd round of bidding for $11/lb and again, Waylon’s pig was donated back to be sold a 4th time! The look on Waylon’s face was priceless; grinning from ear to ear and so proud of his accomplishment, he took his place at the front of the sale arena once again and finally, after 4 rounds of bidding, Badger State Auction/East Point Pub, Rock County Pork Producers and Ott Schwietzer et al purchased Waylon’s pig for $5.50/lb. The crowd erupted, stood and applauded the bidders and Waylon. It was a moment I’ll never forget. Waylon raised over $10,000 from the sale of that pig.
Waylon is generally a young man of few words. He is a hard worker, fiercely loyal and his heart is made of pure gold. He said he’d never felt more proud of anything he’d done and can’t wait until his pumpkins ripen so he can keep donating to such a worthy cause.
On behalf of so many kids fighting neuroblastoma, thank you Waylon!
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