4-H kids participate in 3rd annual Ben Lauren Memorial Livestock Show

The show is named after a Forsyth Township firefighter who died in the line of duty in 2020
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 4:14 PM EDT
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CHATHAM, Mich. (WLUC) - An annual two-day livestock show began on Friday at the Alger County Fairgrounds. The event honors a beloved firefighter who died two years ago.

Upper and Lower Michigan 4-H kids showed off their hogs, lambs and cattle during the third annual Ben Lauren Memorial Livestock Show.

“All of the kids wanted another opportunity to show, so we were able, as the adults and the parents, to give this opportunity to them,” said Jesie Melchiori, an event volunteer.

The show is named after Forsyth Township firefighter Ben Lauren, who died in the line of duty in 2020. Outside of the fire department, Ben was a longtime member of the 4-H program and showed livestock for 14 years, an experience his father Ron Lauren said he really enjoyed.

“Ben just loved going to the fairs,” Ron said. “He loved helping the little kids when he aged out at doing 4-H. He would still go to the fairs and help out with the auctions.”

Almost 100 kids are participating this weekend, including nine-year-old hog showman Max Dow, who always looked up to Ben.

“We loved him because he used to give us firetruck rides when we were younger,” Dow said.

This year is the first time the show is officially being held at the newly-covered Ben Lauren Memorial Arena.

“This was just constructed, through the help of the Alger County Fair, through the Ben Lauren Memorial [Foundation], and through some amazing people and sponsors, about a month ago,” Melchiori said.

All show entry fees go to the Ben Lauren Memorial Foundation. Ron said his family is humbled and that Ben would be too.

“Being the person that he was - being all humble, he would think it’s probably ridiculous that he’s being honored the way he’s being honored because that’s just not the way he was,” said Ron.

Day two of the livestock show will happen Saturday, featuring goats, steers and overall show-people. The Lauren family is appreciative of the entire community for its continued support, saying “Ben’s legacy will live on forever.”

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