Girl Raises $10,000 at Pig Auction for 7-Year-Old Amputee Dancer

Contributed By By Amber Clayson, Church News contributor

  • 10 September 2014

Lily Wilson with her pig that sold for $10,000 at the Uintah Basin Jr. Livestock Show on June 5. Lily donated her earnings to Alissa Sizemore, a fellow dancer who lost her foot.  Photo by Holly Wilson.

Article Highlights

  • Alissa Sizemore, a 7-year-old dancer, recently lost her foot when it was run over by a truck. Lily Wilson, a fellow dancer, decided to donate her auction earnings to Sizemore.
  • Wilson’s pig went out for auction twice to quickly raise a total of $10,000 to help pay for Sizemore’s medical bills and prosthetics.
  • Wilson participated in the auction last year and donated her earnings to a family friend recovering from brain tumor surgery.

“When the bid started going, it kept going up, and I actually had to walk away because I thought, ‘Wow, this is too emotional.’” —Michael Wilson, Lily Wilson’s father

VERNAL, UTAH

Lily Wilson was at her neighbor’s house when she first heard about Alissa Sizemore.

Alissa, a 7-year-old dancer, lost her foot after it was pinned under a truck May 6.

“My neighbor was talking about how his friend knew a girl that was in her dance studio that had her leg rolled over, and so I just wanted to donate my money to her,” Lily Wilson said. “If that ever happened to me, it would be hard to dance again.”

Lily Wilson, 10, a dancer and a member of the Davis 4th Ward, Vernal Utah Uintah Stake, decided she would help by auctioning off her pig at the Uintah Basin Jr. Livestock Show on June 5. Lily’s pig was among 200 other pigs for sale at the auction.

As Lily walked her pig into the ring, the auctioneer told the audience of Lily’s plans to donate her earnings to Alissa.

“Lily is a dancer like Alissa and would love to help with her medical expenses,” the auctioneer said. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we call selflessness, so let’s all follow along suit, and let’s be selfless.”

The bid quickly went from $1,000 to $2,000. Lily walked her pig around the ring with a smile on her face as the bids continued to climb: $3,000 to $4,000, $4,000 to $5,000.

“We didn’t expect anything crazy and definitely not anything like that,” said Lily’s father, Michael Wilson.

“When the bid started going, it kept going up, and I actually had to walk away because I thought, ‘Wow, this is too emotional.’ It was an unusual situation, and I didn’t think it would sell for that much.”

The pig sold to Nasco Swabbing for $5,600 dollars, and the crowd exploded with cheers and tears. Moments later, the auctioneer announced that he wanted to sell the pig again.

“I thought it was one of the kindest, neatest things I had heard of,” Jesse Nash, owner of Nasco Swabbing, said of Lily’s decision to donate to Alissa. “A kid with that kind of heart and that spirit and ambition should be rewarded for it.”

Lily said she didn’t understand what was happening when the bidding started again, but she was excited nonetheless.

“I felt really happy,” Lily said. “I thought [the people bidding] were really nice to donate all that money for Alissa.”

Alissa Sizemore, left, and Lily Wilson meet for the first time at the Sizemore home on August 22. Wilson, a 10-year-old dancer, donated $10,000 to Sizemore, a 7-year-old dancer who recently lost her foot after it was run over by a truck. Photo by Holly Wilson.

Lily ended up with a check for $10,000. Nasco Swabbing, Big Red Hot Oil Service, Stellar Fields Services, and George T Weldon construction were among the companies to put money and donations toward Lily’s pig.

Scoot Wilkins, owner of Big Red Hot Oil Service in Jensen, Utah, said Lily’s decision to use the 4-H Uintah Basin Jr. Livestock Show to sell the pig and donate the money was inspiring.

“I thought it was super fantastic,” he said. “I think that’s one of the things the 4-H process does, and it instills in other people the same type of actions.”

Brother Wilson recalled Lily’s reaction after her pig was sold.

“I remember Lily walking up and she just told me during that, ‘Dad, that felt really good,’” he said between pauses. “I still get emotional about it.”

This wasn’t Lily’s first year participating in the Utah 4-H Livestock Program and donating the money she earned. Lily donated her winnings last year to a family friend recovering from brain tumor surgery.

“One of our friend’s daughters had a brain tumor, and she had surgery that year, so she donated to them,” said Lily’s mother, Holly Wilson. “The auctioneer really did an amazing job. The year before she made a decent amount of money, but nowhere near what they raised for this little girl that lost her foot.”

Although the auctioneer suggested Lily keep the second winnings from the pig, Lily decided to donate $10,000 to Alissa.

“It was kind of confusing with the whole first bid and second bid, but we just gave it all to [Alissa] anyway,” Sister Wilson said. “It was cool that they did it that way so [Lily] could choose, but it wasn’t something we were planning on anyway. It was a pretty emotional couple of minutes where people were just really generous. Our community is really good that way.”

Lily took the money to Alissa Sizemore’s house on August 22, Lily’s own birthday. Sister Wilson said it was an exciting moment for both families.

“I was excited for Lily to be able to kind of put a face to what she decided to do with her money, because at first we thought we would just send it in the mail, but she wanted to meet her,” she said. “I liked watching Lily’s interaction with her. She was kind of quiet about it, but you could tell she had a good feeling about what was going on. And the mom was almost in tears. She was just real happy.”

Heather Sizemore, mother of Alissa Sizemore, said the Wilsons had called and told her what Lily had done, but the moment when they came to her home was still overwhelming.

“When they came and brought the check to me and Alissa, I can’t even explain it,” she said. “It’s overwhelming that people have that much heart and generosity.”

Alissa’s mother said the money will be put toward Alissa’s medical expenses.

“It’ll be used for doctors’ appointments or prosthetics or whatever Alissa needs. She’s going to be growing out of her prosthetics about every six months, and I think they’re right about that much ($10,000) a piece.”

Lily stands as an example of a young girl with a big heart who is willing to put others first. When asked what she would like to tell people about donating money to others in need, Lily said, “If they need the money they wouldn’t really have to, but if they already had what they needed, I think it would be nice if they donated.”