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Farmall, IH Auction Raises Money for Riley

by Jerry Goshert

Published: Friday, October 4, 2019

Farmall and International Harvester enthusiasts from across the U.S. came to Polk Auction Co. in New Paris last weekend for the National IH Collector's Auction. Hosted by Northern Indiana Chapter 33 of the IH collector's club, the two-day event drew people from as far away as Maryland, Nebraska and Pennsylvania.

One of the highlights was a benefit auction for Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. The auction, held at noon on both Friday and Saturday, raised over $25,000 from the sale of 126 consignments. In many cases, the items were donated by local IH collectors who wanted to help out a good cause.

Lester and Jo Anne Graber of Goshen attended the auction last Friday and Saturday. Lester made an IH patio table that brought $325. The unique item was made from planter plates. For her contribution, Jo Anne fashioned a queen-sized quilt that sold for $1,600 in Saturday's auction. Speaking on Friday, Jo Anne said she had a family member affected by cancer and wanted to give back to an organization that helps those who are suffering with the disease.

Another special item was a miniature dump truck that was donated in memory of the late Harlan Beer. He was an IH collector and co-founder of Beer & Slabaugh in Nappanee. The toy dump truck sold for $200.

Sheri Miller of Goshen, a member of the Chapter 33 collector's group, had the high bid on the dump truck. She purchased it as a gift for her husband, who is a collector and works as a fuel delivery driver.

Like others participating in the auction, Miller said she was happy to support an auction that benefited Riley Children's Hospital.

Another Chapter 33 member was Greg Shank of New Paris. He noted that preparations for this event began several years ago when the club submitted a bid which was accepted.

"This has been great," he said last Friday. "We have been looking forward to it for two years. When the auction started, I couldn't stop smiling."

Throughout the benefit auction, several items were sold and donated back for resale, all in an effort to raise more money for charity. One example was a leather wallet consigned by Brandon Kitch, who is a junior at Triton High School in Bourbon. The wallet featured a Farmall logo that was hand-stamped and created as part of a 4-H leather craft project. The wallet originally sold for $300, but was donated back and resold eight times, eventually raising $825.

One of items generating the most money was an IH Super C tractor that fetched $2,500.

Those bidding on the items were some of the most devoted IH collectors. Bailey Drake of Burkittsville, Md. described himself as a "big IH fan" who raises row crops and hay in the Mid-Atlantic state. On Friday, he purchased an IH cup and pink license plate but said he was just getting started. He brought a trailer to the auction with the intention of buying some equipment.

Then there was Jim Zacher of Renssalaer, Ind. An IH collector, he purchased several items last Friday, including a red milk can bearing the IH logo. He said he plans to use the milk can as a decoration in his lawn.

While a majority of folks wore the classic red clothing and hats with IH logos, there was at least one person who stood out from the crowd. Warren Bolten of Niles wore a green hat that carried the logo of a competing tractor line, Oliver. He joked that it was the only clean hat in his collection.

As of noon last Friday, he said no one had mentioned it. But just in case, he was wearing an IH-themed belt buckle to show those who doubted his credentials.

"The IH folks are nice people," he said.

Bolten said he planned to return the next day to buy something.

"This is really a good cause," he said. He added, "I might even have a different hat tomorrow."

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