Many of us in the Wenatchee area celebrated the arrival of September at the Chelan County Fair in Cashmere. That very same weekend, our friends to the north celebrated the Okanogan County Fair. 

Something very special happened that Friday night in Okanogan.

The powerful gift of love was given to a high school-aged boy and his family who lost their dad and husband - Jick Reese.

Jick grew up in Conconully and reading his obituary, I wished I had met him.

 ‘Jick was extremely proud of his kids and supported them in every way…He never missed a sporting event in which they were in, even if it meant leaving work early or getting home very late. Jick and Kalli spent a lot of time traveling to Angus shows in Washington and Idaho where she enjoyed showing heifers. Jick and Vance spent every fall hunting deer and elk together. He loved both his kids with all his heart.’-Okanogan County Gazette-Tribune.

Friday night September 8th was Vance Reese’s 17th birthday. Two days prior, he lost his dad to cancer. Despite deep pain, he spent his birthday at the Okanogan County Fair - showing "Fred' his steer.

Vance worked hard to raise the steer over the spring and summer months.

Vance Reese with this feeder steer Fred. PHOTO CREDIT:
Vance Reese with this feeder steer "Fred."


When it came time to auction the animal off in the sale barn, a group of ranchers drove up the price to $18 per pound for the 1318 lb. steer. After they bought the steer, for over $23,000 - the group told the auctioneer: "Sell it again."

So they did. 

The very same thing happened again. Then they sold it a third time.

‘I was so surprised and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, generosity, and support from the community. I know Jick had many good friends who cared about him but this was over the top! The kids and I are still in shock.’ - Vance’s mother and recent widow Kristi Reese 

Here is the video of the auction


We’d like to thank our friends at for sharing this story with us.

If you’d like to honor the Reese Family and remember the life of Jick Reese, there will be a Celebration of Life at the HJ Ranch, 997 Conconully Rd. Okanogan, Washington on September 20, 2023, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The main course will be provided, please bring a side dish, salad, or dessert.

INFO CREDIT:, Okanogan County Gazette-Tribune

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