MALONE — A pot-bellied pig, a grandfather clock and a bull are among 100 items to be auctioned Wednesday to benefit the families of five Brushton residents killed July 19 near Watertown.
The fundraiser is set for 4 to 10 p.m. at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in the new Tavern by the Track beer pavilion, which will be dedicated by the County Agricultural Society Board of Directors at 11:30 a.m. that day.
The money will go to the families of Laurie Dana; her daughters, Lauren, 11, and Caitlyn, 14; her mother-in-law, Janet Dana; and Caitlyn’s best friend, Shannon Planty, 14; all of whom died when a tractor-trailer crashed into a line of cars waiting at a road-construction site on Route 11 in the Town of Antwerp near the St. Lawrence/Jefferson County line.
Laurie, her daughters and Shannon were on their way to Syracuse for a doctor’s appointment for Lauren, who had juvenile diabetes.
Janet was along for the ride to buy school clothes for her granddaughters.
A sixth Franklin County resident traveling in a separate vehicle, MaryAnn Gregory of Dickinson Center, was also killed in the crash.
Charges are pending against the tractor-trailer driver, James Mills Jr. of Myerstown, Pa., State Police said.
A TRAGIC LOSS
Wednesday’s event kicks off with a benefit meal at 4 p.m. that includes hot dogs, hamburgers, salt potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, ice cream and beverages followed by a silent auction. Tickets are $10 for individuals and $30 for a family.
Items such as afghans, baked goods, home-made crafts, four passes for 18 holes of golf at Highland Greens Golf Club and gift certificates will be available for bid.
At 8 p.m. sharp, the live auction begins in the livestock-show arena, where auctioneers from Delarm & Treadway Auction Service will offer up a variety of larger donated lots, said Dale Chapin, a close family friend of the Danas and president of the Agricultural Society.
Items also include the cherrywood clock, valued at $2,500 and donated by Fleming’s Fine Furniture; three calves; three bred Holstein heifers; a purebred Holstein calf; square and round bales of hay; a weed whacker; and a dinner and boat tour of Mountain View for eight people donated by the Mountain View Lake Association.
“We’ve even got 25 pasture mats, which are about $100 each,” Chapin said, referring to flooring placed under livestock so the cattle can lie down comfortably in a barn.
He said fliers will be available that list the lots so bidders can be prepared.
“All of these things are donated,” he said. “There were a lot of people who wanted to do something for the families who maybe couldn’t make it to the services.
“Some didn’t even know the families and wanted to donate,” Chapin said. “We just hope people will come out and support these families who have suffered such a tragic loss.
“This (crash) touched so many people in Franklin County and St. Lawrence County.”
The two adults were teachers, he added, and the three girls were all dancers with All That Jazz Dance Studio.
He said that any of the dance students who wear their dancing outfits to the benefit meal will eat for free.
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