The memory of the late Angie Fitzgerald was kept alive at the Summit County Fair's Junior Livestock Auction as the community raised more than $40,000 in an impromptu auction with proceeds earmarked for Fitzgerald's family.
Fitzgerald's two children -- 9-year-old Maddison, known as Maddie, and 12-year-old Larell -- had just finished selling the lambs they had raised when the purchasers donated the lambs back to the youngsters. The resulting second auction resulted in winning bids that amounted to an additional $12,000 for each animal -- quite a bit more than the average lamb auctioned off that day.
The crowd wasn't content to let the generosity end there, said auctioneer Seth Winterton, deputy director of marketing at the state Department of Agriculture. People started donating items to raise more money for the children who had lost their mother.
Angela Fitzgerald, of Kamas but raised in Coalville, died July 15 in a car accident on State Route 248 just west of Kamas when she was driving Maddie to the doctor several days after the girl suffered an injury during a rodeo. The Utah Highway Patrol is still investigating the collision, but their early report was that another vehicle crossed over the center median, which led to a head-on collision.
Donations started flooding in to Winterton, who said he had trouble concealing his emotions during the auction. Items donated included a quilt, the services of a taxidermist, wood art, and a deer-hunting mitigation permit. The latter raised $12,500 for the family.
Other generous people in the audience matched the amount raised for several auctioned items.
"It was really an emotional event," said Summit County Councilman Dave Ure.
"It just blew me away," Winterton said. "We can't replace Angie, but this was a reflection of how much she is loved."
A spokesperson for the Fitzgeralds family said they were overwhelmed by the generosity and that they considered themselves fortunate to live in such a community.