Waylon Klitzman lives with his family in Evansville, Wisconsin. He loves interacting with animals and is involved in his local 4-H club. He helps out around the house, tends to the animals on his family’s farm, and plays football for fun. He also has a deep sense of empathy, one that led him to accomplish something extraordinary.
Just a few days ago, he sold his pig Roo to help fund his teacher’s charity.
His reason was clear: to help someone in the same way his teacher helped him. When Waylon started attending high school, he was nervous about fitting in. The 15-year-old describes himself as “not that guy that talks to a lot of people. I’m not really a very good social guy.”
Then he met Kim Katzenmeyer, an algebra teacher at his school. They developed a friendship, and Waylon relied on her for support.
“She just made me feel comfortable,” Waylon said to CNN. “She saw the best in me and we just connected that way.”
When Katzenmeyer’s niece, Harlow, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of children’s cancer, both were shocked and distraught. She decided to leave her teaching position and volunteer at Beat NB, a cancer research charity. Upset that his favorite teacher was leaving, Waylon wanted to do anything he could to help.
— Beat Nb (@beatnb) July 30, 2018
His own fundraising began when he gave Katzenmeyer a crumpled wad of cash, telling her it was for her charity. It was only $52, but that gesture bloomed into something much more.
“After I gave her the $52, I got to know Harlow’s big family better. They’re really nice people,” he said. He wanted to do more for them, and the Rock County 4-H fair was the perfect place to do it. Waylon decided to auction off a pig named Roo to raise money for Kim’s charity, and help cancer patients like Harlow get the support they need.
Then, something amazing happened. Dan Drozdowicz, who has been attending the fair for several decades, joined Waylon’s fundraising effort. He began bidding for Waylon’s pig, and another person joined in. Eventually, Roo was being sold for $10 a pound — more than the grand champion pig, Cheeky, was being sold for.
According to The Washington Post, Drozdowicz won the pig for $3,047 but didn’t stop there. He turned around and sold the pig again, and his competitor, Scott Owen, bought it for $2,716. Then, Roo was sold a third time to Moll Construction for $2,915, and a fourth time to several local businesses for $1,457. This auction chain raised over $10,000 for cancer charity, about 16 times more than Waylon was expecting.
Waylon’s generosity and kindness is something to celebrate, and his entire community came together to support his passionate cause. Like Katzenmeyer said, “I wish there were a million more Waylons.”