Local teen donates first-place steer 'because there was a need'

Published: Saturday, Aug. 11 2012 8:27 p.m. MDT

Fourteen-year-old Tanner Maxfield pulls his champion steer Tiger at the Salt Lake Equestrian Park in South Jordan on Saturday,

Kristin Murphy, Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SOUTH JORDAN — When Tanner Maxfield was asked if he would be willing to sell one of his award-winning steers well below its value for a fundraiser he did them one better, he gave it to them.

Maxfield, a shy 14-year-old from Bluffdale with a learning disability, raises cattle to compete at fairs and then sells the beef.

When he heard that 3-year-old Kayden Miller, who is blind, deaf and can't walk because of Cerebral Palsy, lost his mom and that his family had no way to pay for funeral costs, Maxfield decided to donate his steer for a raffle, with proceeds going to Miller's family.

"We talked about it at dinner and I said, 'why don't we, Tanner, donate one of your steer projects," Maxfield's mother Laurie said. "Because if they have to pay $2,000 for a steer there's not going to be much money left for the family."

Maxfield spends about a year raising the cattle to show at fairs around Utah. The cattle cost about $2,000 to buy and another $2,000 throughout the year and eat about 20 pounds of grain every day.

"I walk them around, I bathe them and I clean their stalls everyday," Tanner Maxfield, whose learning disability causes him to react slowly to situations, said.

Saturday, Maxfield's steer won first-place at the Salt Lake County Fair. The steer, like most entered into the fair, was auctioned off. But his mom, Laurie, bought the steer back so they can donate it to the raffle being held for Miller and his family.

"It's because there's a family in need," Maxfield said when asked why he decided to donate his first-place show steer.

Laurie Maxfield said they have had great support from those attending the fair.

"The people here that are showing animals, I think we've sold a thousand dollars worth of tickets just with the exhibitors here," she said.

Every penny that is raised from the raffle goes to the Miller family to pay for the funeral costs of Brittany Miller, who died suddenly on July 20, and to help pay for Kayden's ongoing medical expenses.

"Kayden has a lot a lot of health problems and they don't do very well, we just thought we need to help with something because there was nothing else we could do," Sharleen Ahlin, who organized the fundraiser, said. "We thought a fundraiser, and we were going to donate a steer but this kid decided he was going to do that."

Email: jfinley@desnews.com Twitter: @FinleyJY

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