By Jeff Headley
Keith County News
This year’s Cattlemen’s Ball shattered the record for money raised during the annual event. The Ralph and Beverly Holzfaster family of Paxton and the Neal Hansen family of Sutherland served as hosts for the June 7-8 event.
While money raised from the Cattlemen’s Ball had surpassed the $1 million mark the past three years, including the previous record of $1.49 million raised at West Point in 2011, this year’s Cattlemen’s Ball surpassed the $2 million plateau, finishing at $2.12 million.
Dr. Ken Cowan, director of the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, said, “What a phenomenal event! We can’t say thanks enough for all the people who made it happen.
“A special thanks go to the Hanging H Ranch and to the Holzfaster family and Neal Hansen. They simply did an outstanding job. Starting with the train trip to North Platte and through the entire ball, it was a memorable event. The generosity of the community is absolutely incredible.
“The fantastic support of the Cattlemen’s Ball will make a difference in the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. It will advance cancer research and provide new hope for cancer patients and their families and friends.”
The Cattlemen’s Ball is held annually to promote beef in a healthy diet to showcase rural Nebraska and to raise money for health care research.
“Agriculture plays such an important role in our communities across Nebraska,” Ralph Holzfaster said.
“To be able to showcase the state’s beef and agriculture industries and raise funds for cancer research at the same time through the Cattlemen’s Ball, there just couldn’t be a better fit. It was a super event that produced a fantastic result for such a worthy cause,” he said.
Event Draws 4,300
The Holzfasters recognized all those who made contributions and the volunteer efforts of the local community in helping host the event, which drew more than 4,300 people.
Beverly Holzfaster said, “We’re so proud of all our friends and neighbors who stepped forward to help us in this effort. Our goals couldn’t have been achieved without the generous support of the donors and volunteers. Ralph and I would like to personally thank all of you for your efforts and contributions to this year’s event.”
Harchelroad Motors, Inc. of Imperial and Wauneta played a big role in helping exceed the $2 million mark.
The Harchelroads donated a 2013 Special Edition Corvette, which was won by Char Wallin of Imperial.
Ticket sales for the Corvette drawing totalled around $413,000.
A John Deere tractor, donated by Howard Buffet, sold at auction for $285,000 and was purchased by a Holyoke, Colo., farmer.
Tim Holzfaster, who co-chaired the event with brother Jon Holzfaster, Doug Teaford and Greg Wilke, expressed his appreciation for those working to organize and host the event.
“We couldn’t have done without the 45 committee chairpeople and their more than 300 committee members,” Tim Holzfaster said. “It was a tremendous effort at the local level.”
While 90 percent of the proceeds raised during the annual Cattlemen’s Ball goes toward cancer research at the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, the remaining 10 percent is distributed locally as grants for healthcare-related projects.
Formerly known as the University of Nebraska Medical Center Eppley Cancer Center, the facility became the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center earlier this year with approval of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
The 2014 Cattlemen’s Ball will be held on the Hoot Owl Ranch in Banner County, with Kenny and Misty Stauffer, and Jeff and Kathy May as hosts.
During the past 16 Cattlemen’s Ball events, a total of $9.73 million has been raised.
Each site, the year of the annual event and the amount raised is listed below:
Ainsworth, 1998, $95,000; Lexington, 1999, $140,000; Ogallala, 2000, $104,000; Valentine, 2001, $133,000; Valparaiso, 2002, $207,000; Ashland, 2003, $33,000; Brady, 2004, $174,000; Wisner, 2005, $595,000; Milford, 2006, $563,250; Lodgepole, 2007, $480,000; Albion, 2008, $697,000; Doniphan, 2009, $488,000; Kearney, 2010, $1,003,000; West Point, 2011, $1,490,000; McCool Junction, 2012, $1,410,300; Paxton/Sutherland, 2013, $2,120,000.