The baked goods auction at the Somerset County Fair on Sunday raised more than $ 12,000, the highest amount ever for the event.
Each year, the fair selects a family that would benefit the most from the funds raised during the event. Last year, the bake sale was canceled at the fair due to COVID-19.
According to Rachael Mostoller, who coordinates the event, there are still donations coming this week during the fair for the cause. She said she was amazed at the community’s support for CJ Livengood, a local maple syrup producer who suffers from kidney failure and is on dialysis three times a week.
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“It was a very busy event and we appreciate the support from the bakers, the buyers, our auctioneer Bill Arnold who donates his time and all of the many volunteers,” said Mostoller. “Everyone worked together to make this the biggest bakery auction ever.”
Livengood, 34, has owned and operated Livengood Brothers Maple on the Copper Kettle Highway with his older brother, Vernon, since 2014. He has been suffering from kidney failure since early November and is on dialysis three days a week.
Livengood has not received an explanation from doctors as to the reason for his sudden diagnosis, but he is no longer able to work at Highland Harley Davidson in Somerset. He hopes that a donor can be found in the family and that a kidney transplant will allow him to continue a normal life.
He says he’s trying to look on the bright side and that his work stoppage since November has allowed him to spend more time with his father, Gary Livengood, before his death in February. He has one child, Izabella, 12, who will be in seventh grade at Rockwood Area High School.
Livengood’s family have been actively participating in the fair for four generations, starting with his great-grandparents, the late Vernon “Mutt” and Ola (Barron) Miller; her grandparents, Billy, 94, and the late Delores Livengood; his parents, Gary and Ivy Livengood; her siblings, Vernon and Sara; and many cousins.
A spaghetti fundraising dinner and auction are also planned for Livengood at the Heritage Barn along the Copper Kettle Highway in Rockwood on September 19. The fundraiser is organized with the permission of the family in order to cover some of the many medical- and travel-related expenses that the family has encountered.
Many of Livengood’s family were present to show their support and purchase items.