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Fundraiser, to name barn after uncle

Fundraiser, to name barn after uncle

Sam Dougherty, a 16-year-old Lowell High School sophomore, has raised $44,000 of the $50,000 required to name a swine barn at the new Kent County Youth Fair site in memory of an uncle who passed away. So far, Sam organized a spaghetti dinner and a silent auction but still needs about $6,000 to complete the project. “[Construction of] the new swine barn will cost much more than $50,000, [but] raising the $50,000 will allow naming rights for the building,” said Jennifer Dougherty, Sam's mother. “On Saturday, March 23, a spaghetti dinner and auction were held in Alto to begin the fundraising. Approximately 350 people attended and $44,000 was raised. If Sam and his team are successful in reaching $50,000, the new swine barn will be named in memory of his uncle, Tim Dougherty. Tim Dougherty worked for the Kent County Road Commission and was killed in a workplace accident in September of 2014 at the age of 42.”  The scene at Sam's spaghetti dinner on March 23. [photo submitted by Jennifer Dougherty]

Tim and Sam Dougherty had a very close and fun relationship. "My Uncle Tim was one of the loudest and craziest guys you could meet,” Sam Dougherty said. “Whether it was cheering at a high school volleyball game with a painted chest or cheering you on at the fair, you could always tell he was there by the booming voice and window-rattling laugh. I spent many weekends at Uncle Tim’s with my cousin Sara watching movies, freezing in the creek, camping, and sledding down the back hill. He was like a second father to me, but one that spoiled me way more than any father would. It seemed like we were always at the gas station getting far more boxes of candy than my parents would allow, all the more reason to hang out with Uncle Tim.”

Tim Dougherty was a fair participant in his youth and his family has supported the program their entire lives. “I wanted to have the swine barn named after Uncle Tim because of our family history at the fair and all of the great times we had there,” Sam Dougherty said. “Uncle Tim showed pigs when he was young and my cousin Sara showed pigs with me for a couple of years. Over the years, seven of Tim’s nieces and nephews have shown pigs at the fair. I thought it would be a good way to remember him because that was one of the many places that he’d always be willing to step in and give a helping hand. He would always be one of the last voices you heard wishing you luck before you walked into the show ring, even if he had never met you. It seemed fitting that the barn where he would be giving as much help as possible would be the barn that would bear his name.”

There is one more fundraiser coming up in August, but if you are interested in donating now, mail a check made payable to "Kent County Youth Fair" to Sam Dougherty, 13999 60th St., Alto, MI 49302.
“A golf outing will be held in August and Sam will donate the proceeds from selling the two pigs that he is raising to show and sell at the Kent County Youth Fair,” said Jennifer Dougherty.

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