Station InfoCommunity AffairsPositively Tampa Bay


Polk County teen remembered as community rallies behind his steer during youth fair auction

Teen and steer
Posted at 9:25 AM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 15:52:55-05

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Earlier this month Polk County teenager Todd Donley was killed in a car accident while on the way to feed his prized steer. On Friday that steer will be put up for auction at the Polk County Youth Fair.

Todd’s brother, 14-year-old Landon Donley, said it’s impossible to enter the fair without thinking about his big brother.

“He’s taught me a lot, he’s helped me out, we’ve helped each other out, I’ve feed for him, he’s feed for me, he helped me walk my steer, I’ve done the same for him,” said Donley.

Todd was a promising 17-year-old, excelling in the classroom and on the baseball diamond. Family friend Cary Lightsey remembers those first few days following the car accident.

“Everybody who started hearing about it wanted to do something for the family, and the kid was such a fine young man, straight A's, he just signed a deal to go to Ole Miss, he’s every parent's dream of a son,” said Lightsey.

So the community turned to the Polk County Youth Fair auction, and Todd’s steer, named after one of his favorite NFL players, DK Metcalf.

“He’s put a lot of effort into this, we’ve been doing this for five years, it’s been a lot,” said Donley.

All money raised from Friday’s auction will go back to the family. However, where an average steer would bring in $3 a pound, the farming community came up with a plan that’s Positively Tampa Bay, working together to raise the winning bid to at least $25 a pound.

“And we think it’s going to be the highest priced steer ever sold in Florida, at least at this fair, we never heard of one being priced at $25,” said Lightsey.

Keep in mind, DK weighs over 1,000 pounds. The family said all the proceeds will go back into funeral expenses and remembering Todd.

“Just thank you all so much, it means a lot to us, it hurts, I’m not necessarily the type to take money but it’s truly a blessing,” said Donley.

“It gives them a little sparkle in their life to know that everybody is out to help them and it makes me feel great, it makes me proud to be from Polk County, makes me proud to be in agriculture,” said Lightsey.

The auction is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday.