Most high school livestock exhibitors save their earnings for college tuition. That is not the case for Allison Bevers.
The plans for Pepper — a fourth-place Duroc the Midlothian Heritage High School freshman raised for the Ellis County Youth Expo — were much more significant.
Allison still seeks answers to her mother's 2016 murder. And, thanks to one dedicated group of Ellis County women, has $15,000 to help continue the investigation into the death of Terri "Missy" Bevers.
An extraordinary dollar amount, certainly. But for Brandon Bevers, the gesture by his daughter in itself was a surprise that forced him to fight back the tears.
“It went from one thousand to ten thousand in a matter of seconds and to be quite honest, I didn’t know she had personally endowed the funds [toward Missy’s investigation]," Brandon recalled. "I need to know more about this group of women, who they are and what they’re about. I appreciate all of the support. I’m speechless."
As she stood next to Pepper's stall after the sale at the Ellis County Expo Center, Allison explained, “In order to keep going and have the people investigating, the money is going toward them to keep investigating. You have no idea how much this means to me and my heart."
The first-year exhibitor added, “I was so happy, and there’s not really words that can describe it — you know, this is only my first year showing but I am going to continue doing this to raise money for my mom."
During the sale, Missy’s mother, Norma, said, “I was filming Allison, and her bids just kept going up, and I was shaking so much I don’t even think my video came out good.”
Allison said Missy grew up in Jacksboro, “and she was always around animals when I was little, and she inspired me to take risks. This has become something I enjoy doing.”
She plans to continue showing livestock to raise money to find answers surrounding around her mother’s unsolved murder that occurred at Creekside Church in Midlothian on April 18, 2016.
The Ellis County Women in Business, which is an organization recently founded to strengthen the bonds of local businesswomen, partnered with several non-associated community members to purchase the hog. All day, the women bought pigs raised by female exhibitors as part of "Project Bring Home the Bacon."
One of the official bidders for Ellis County Women in Business, Tara Yarbrough, said, “We just want to wrap our arms around her. We are about supporting women, and I think she stands out the most to us.”
But it’s not just about the money, she explained.
“It’s about supporting and mentoring. If we don’t have each other we can sometimes fall through the cracks, and we need people to pick us up,” Yarbrough added.
A few of those involved in the purchase requested to remain anonymous. One individual, who was actually the first to recommend buying the Duroc from Allison, said when anyone deals with a loss like the Bevers family has experienced the community needs to step up and support. He added that no dollar amount could bring Missy back, but now Allison knows she has the Ellis County Women in Business to lean on.
“We got chills all over. It’s an overall awesome feeling that the entire community wanted to come together and help another female makes it even more special,” said Dionne Zschiesche, a bidder with Ellis County Women in Business.
Zschiesche knew Missy and recalled seeing her at the gym with a “bright face.”
“Missy was very sweet, very helpful. She had a sweet spirit and loved everyone,” Zschiesche added. “She would think it was great and would love it. She was all about helping people. That was Missy’s motive, just to help people.”
Travis M. Smith contributed to this article
Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450