$53,500. That's the total amount raised by Jaycee Ross and his family this past weekend through auctioning a steer at the Energy City Ex. The community rallied around the recent Estevan Comprehensive School graduate, with the beneficiary being the ongoing MRI project by St. Joseph's Hospital. 

"I'm overwhelmed. I'm so happy that we're able to do this for our community. it's amazing. Jaycee's excited. He's just feeding off the energy, going around, getting hugs. What an exciting time for our community and we're just happy to contribute to this project that we think is so worthwhile," shared Carol Ross, Jaycee's mom. 

The steer was auctioned off five times back to back, with the majority of the money raised coming from 12 families and businesses around the community that pledged to pitch in $2500. Their pool totalled $30,000 to kick off the auction. Jaycee's grandfather, Brian Ross, was elated by the response and the money the auction raised. "I've talked to quite a few people in the last couple of weeks here that are, you know, really getting tired of waiting times, and people know we need to have an MRI somewhere in the province. [With] Elaine starting with the first $2,000,000 that kind of kicked things off and got people fired up. Now we're having these fundraisers and just coming up with more funding and for it to go here."

At last count, the SJHF is about halfway towards the project's fundraising goal of $6.5 million. Carol expressed that the donors were farmers and small businesses around the southeast who felt inspired by Jaycee and the family's contribution. 

"Estevan knows how to rally - tell them they can't and they will. If you want it bad enough, you gotta work for it and we know how to do that."

Carol noted in a previous interview with DiscoverEstevan that Jaycee and the rest of the family had been raising the steer for over a year in preparation for this auction. Due to his Angelman's syndrome, Jaycee couldn't participate in the local chapter of the 4H Club and raise his own project steer. The Ross family had the idea of raising the cow since it would've been his final year with the 4H. They even named it "Mr. Eye", a playful name in reference to the charity they are supporting. 

Jaycee was only 18 months old when he needed MRI services in Regina to help diagnose his disability. 18 years later, he was able to walk on the Affinity Place stage to graduate as part of the 2024 graduating class for ECS.