• Hannah Egbert

#StockShowStrong is headed to SALE 2021

The Black Creek Heritage Fund started the #StockShowStrong campaign after the cancellation of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The Heritage Fund was set up to support the ag community in times of crisis. The #StockShowStrong campaign is a portion of that fund that was developed specifically to help the stock show community. The target event for the first year of fundraising will be the 2021 San Antonio Livestock Exposition Junior Market Sales.

This company is deeply rooted in heritage and in agriculture. Here's why this campaign is so important to us:

Linay Williams, BCI Founder:

"I grew up in Hondo, TX which is just 45 minutes south west of San Antonio. I showed cattle my whole life plus some of the small animal species here and there. Each year, I would get so excited to attend the San Antonio Livestock Expo. I remember the original cattle barns, the adrenaline rush of walking our cattle across the street to the old show ring, and each year I would go hang out with my dad at the junior market sales. My dad, Vance Runnels, is one of the auctioneers at SALE and has been since 2004. I used to watch the excitement of the sale each year, the awesome stories that dad and Jason Spence would share on some of the kids that needed extra help, and the buyers that so generously gave. My brothers and I had the chance to make it to that sale ring a few times and that humbling experience made me swear one day I'd give back. In 2020, I finally had my chance. I started off in a very small way, but the momentum hasn't ceased. When Houston was cancelled and businesses started suffering (especially businesses from the industries that are so supportive of SALE), I knew it was time to do something meaningful. The Heritage Fund was already established, so we created a campaign within the Fund that would raise money just for stock show families.

I chose San Antonio for two reasons. One was because of my roots there. The second reason is because many of the families that are part of the sale each year come from several hours away. Because these families don't do business in the San Antonio area, they don't have quite the sale outcome as the locals do and as I did when showing. (This is nobody's fault, and I'm not blaming buyers or exhibitors). While I still plan to support the local kids that make the sale, I want to help level the playing field a little bit for the folks from out of town.

My goal for 2021 is to have at least $5,000 for us to spend on the kids with all species at the junior market sale in San Antonio. While this is probably an insignificant amount compared to how most companies can spend there, we are just trying to start small for our first year so we can learn and continue to make a bigger impact down the road. As of Sept. 30, 2020 we have fundraised just under $2,000 dollars through t-shirt and hoodie sales.

Linay's first time in the sale ring at SALE 2006
Linay and her dad at SALE 2020

Hannah Egbert, Account Management Intern:

"The San Antonio Livestock Exposition has always been a huge part of me life. My family has been involved at SALE for generations and their passion has flowed into my brother, cousins, and myself. I have spent many nights in the auction barn, and as a little girl I had no idea the impact it would have on me. My great grandfather, Tom Bell, was vice chairman of the board for 18 years and he passed on every bit of his love for SALE to my grandmother. Today, they are both in the hall of fame. The SALE was my grandmother’s favorite event of the year, and she never failed to be the best dressed. She was the loudest one there and turned everyone’s head, but was always the most humble and authentic. She was the queen of the auction block, and now I get to watch my mom and aunt continue the tradition. For years I’ve watched my grandfather teach me what it means to be selfless and generous through SALE. I’ve also learned what true love is by watching my grandparents be loved so deeply by everyone involved in SALE. I’ve watched my dad and his siblings follow in my grandparent’s footsteps and can’t help but envision myself doing the same someday. When I was little, Jason Spence was just a guy that talked really fast and sold animals. Now, he’s someone I know I can call no matter what. I never thought I would be working for auctioneer, Vance Runnels’ daughter, Linay, but here I am thanking SALE for another blessing of mine. I’m so thankful to be a part of Black Creek Innovations and #StockShowStrong seems to confirm that I’m exactly where I need to be to give back to something that has given me so much."

Hannah and her grandmother
A young Hannah helps out on the auction block

We are so grateful for every person that has helped make this campaign possible. If you are interested in contributing, you can buy one of our #StockShowStrong shirts or contact Linay Williams by email, Linay@BlackCreekInnovations.com

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