DELAWARE, Ohio (Dec. 23) — Most 12-year-olds who sell their prize-winning livestock at a county fair do so with their eye toward using the money to benefit themselves – a bicycle or a video game. Luke Kleilein wanted to make a difference.
“My grandma died from breast cancer and my great aunt is a breast cancer survivor,” Kleilein said. “So I wanted to make a donation that helped fight breast cancer.”
Kleilein won $300 for raising three prize rabbits at the Delaware County Junior Fair in September, and after careful consideration he donated those winnings to the JEGS Foundation.
“We looked at different places to give the money to,” Kleilein said. “Off the Susan G. Komen Web site there was a link to JEGS. When we found out the JEGS Foundation was local and they helped people with breast cancer, I thought it would be a nice place to donate it to.”
Delivering his donation in person to JEGS Mail Order’s campus in Delaware, Ohio, Kleilein was greeted by world champion drag racers and company vice presidents Jeg Coughlin Jr., John Coughlin, and Troy Coughlin Sr.
“What an exceptional young man,” Jeg Jr. said. “We’ve been blessed over the year to receive donations from a lot of different people but this one ranks right up at the top. The giving nature of Luke speaks volumes about him, especially during the holiday season.”
Kleilein has been raising and showing rabbits for two years.
“It was pretty fun,” Kleilein said. “We had four or five litters to choose from. For my breed the judges want them to be tall but when you scrunch them up they need to have a nice dome shape to them. Not all bony.
“We thought we might have a winning group, because they want the rabbits to look like triplets and mine did.”
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