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Morgan Community Unites for Tim O’Gorman Benefit Auction

The Tim O’Gorman Benefit Live Auction was held September 17, after the Thursday evening session of the New York Regional Championship Morgan Horse Show in Syracuse. There was a concurrent Silent Auction that ran until noon on Saturday to accommodate the numerous outstanding donations that there was not enough time to run through the Live Auction.

This is the story of how the Morgan community came together to support Tim O'Gorman and his wife, Shirley, of O'Gorman Stables at Cedar Creek Farm in Perrysburg, OH. Tim was recently diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, The "Friends of Tim O'Gorman" pulled together to create a benefit event to help Tim with on-going medical expenses.  

The auctioneer was Darleen Barr of Syracuse. Diane Garrow read the descriptions of the 40 auction items. The ringmen were Ivan Beattie and Jaisen von Ballmoos. Taking phone bids were Kathy Daly, Nancy Galusha, Karen Saville, Tina Drumm, Ilene Goulette, Annette Smith, Annette Bakic and Kathy Waters.  Nancy Elliott and Sandy Wooding recorded winning bids and collected money.  Sara Ruby saw a job that needed to be done during the auction and did it.  Marion and Joe Gaigal volunteered to set up and run the Silent Auction when Diane Garrow had to tend to a family medical emergency. 

The highest selling item of the auction was a custom bronze sculpture donated by Maretta Kennedy. The winning bidder was Iann Fu Longenecker of Dragonsmeade, with a top bid of $5,600. Kevin Schengrund of Schengrund Stables had the second highest bid of the evening, with a $5,000 opening bid on a Day at Peeper Ranch, donated by owner Dawn Fire. Sara and Bryn Williams of Cloister Morgans in North Wales donated a two-week stay at their bungalow in North Wales. Donna Zimmerman and Sammi Hazen joined forces to bid on the vacation in North Wales with a winning bid of $3,500. Harry and Carolyn Sebring and their family donated four days at their home on Cape Cod, which was won by Ann Hastings of Tug Hill Morgans for $2,300.  Elizabeth Burrick was the winning bidder on the custom-made saddle suit, donated by Marsha Shepard, with a top bid of $2,100.

"I started the ball rolling less than one week before the show with an idea for a small benefit auction for my friend and trainer, Tim O'Gorman," Diane Garrow said. "My idea was to contact exhibitors already entered and ask them to bring something to donate to a benefit auction.  Show committee chair Sue Evans contacted Scott Shepard, Steed Whips, and LaSalle Harness to ask for donations to the auction, while her husband, Jeff, who chairs the NYSMHS Stallion Service Auction Committee, suggested that we take phone bids during the auction.  Then Suzy Lucine gave the ball a BIG PUSH and got the information out to the international Morgan community over the internet. Donations started POURING in and I had to pedal furiously to keep up with the donations and make it happen.  If not for Suzy I would have had a lot more sleep this last week because it would have remained small.

"Through the efforts of the exhibitors at the show, the generosity of the donors and the bidders, we had a very successful event," she continued. "This really speaks to the people that Tim and Shirley O'Gorman are, and to the way they have lived their lives and conducted their business.  The success of this benefit shows that Tim and Shirley are loved in a way that few of us ever are."

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