Long Meadow Ranch

High-priced lamb sale benefits Tim Hall Memorial Scholarship fund

The Napa Valley Register Monday, September 4, 2000

Register Staff Writer

Nearly $24,000 was raised for the Tim Hall Memorial Scholarship with the auction of a lamb at the recent Napa Town and Country Fair.

Hall, a member of Rutherford 4-H who raised lambs for the fair's livestock auction, died four years ago.

"They were very generous," said Tim's mother, Laddie Hall. "We don't have our son here, but a lot of kids are benefiting in his memory."

The Hall family moved to the St. Helena area about 10 years ago. At first, they spent weekends and summers in Napa Valley, living primarily in Marin County.

"They wanted to join the 4-H," she said of her children. An older son raised pigs and chickens, while Tim raised lambs he took to the fair every summer.

"We got to know some wonderful families (there) and felt very much a part of the community," she recalled.

The summer before the boy's untimely death in 1996, he won reserve champion with his lamb. "He was so excited," she said. "We thought his lamb needed more weight, but he said, 'Mom, it's just right.' It turned out he was right."

Sadly, Tim died of a brain aneurysm about two months later. He was 13.

Jim and Bobbie Wilson of Wilson's Feed Company in Napa had purchased the lamb at the fair. They wanted to sell the lamb and use the proceeds for an on-going scholarship.

The idea quickly caught on as "add-on" bids were made after the lamb was sold. This money was in the form of donations, not to purchase the animal.

Just two years ago, the plan brought in $75 a pound. Last year and last month, however, the price skyrocketed with add-on bids bringing the total to more than $200 a pound.

"It's enough to give scholarships for abut 20 years," said Bobbie Wilson. "It's hard to explain how moving this is. The whole community jumped on this. Everyone raises money together, and it goes to everyone's children."

Koerner Rombauer of Rombauer Vineyards submitted this year's high bid of $7,500. Add-on donations brought the total to $23,930.

The prize lamb was raised by 18-year-old Peter Gerlach, a Napa High School 1999 graduate, and a member of the Las Amigas 4-H program.

Gerlach had 40 lambs born in January, and donated the Suffolk lamb to the Tim Hall scholarship fund. He donated another to the Junior Livestock Scholarship Fund.

The Tim Hall Memorial Scholarship awards $1,200 a year to one or more students who are high school seniors and enrolled in 4-H or Future Farmers of America. Candidates must submit essays detailing what 4-H or FFA has taught them.

Five scholarships will be awarded this year, according to Peter Gerlach's mother, Kathy Gerlach.

"It says a lot about our community and how great it is," she said this week. "The community comes together and supports this. It's a wonderful learning and growing experience for the kids. It's out of the heart."

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