Cattlemen's Ball raises nearly $1.75 million

by Tom O'Connor, UNMC public relations | October 01, 2018

Image with caption: Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D. (third from left), director of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, went to Hebron, Neb., on Sept. 6 to receive a proceeds check of more than $1.55 million from the planning committee for this year's Cattlemen's Ball of Nebraska. (Photo courtesy of Nancy McGill)

Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D. (third from left), director of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, went to Hebron, Neb., on Sept. 6 to receive a proceeds check of more than $1.55 million from the planning committee for this year's Cattlemen's Ball of Nebraska. (Photo courtesy of Nancy McGill)

The results are in, and the 2018 Cattlemen's Ball of Nebraska brought in nearly $1.75 million -- the second-most money ever raised in the 21-year history of the event and the seventh time the event has topped the $1 million mark. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $15.8 million.

Cattlemen's Ball by the numbers

  • 50 committees to plan and organize
  • 200-250 people on each committee with more than 40 communities represented on the committees
  • 1,100 volunteers from approximately 100 zip codes
  • 1,512 tables
  • 4,500 chairs
  • Three semi loads of wood chips
  • More than $13,000 sold in table decorations (goal was $5,000)
  • $13,000 made on golf tourney ($1,900 just in mulligans)
  • $27,430 made on the same five bottles of wine
  • $77,700 made on 26 guns
  • $80,000 made on beverages
  • $663,000 on four auctions with 285 items for the silent auction
  • $260,000 Calf for a Cure
  • $1,747,961 total amount made on the ball (steering committee's goal was $1.5 million)
  • $1,550,961 to the Fred and Pamela Buffett Center
  • 10 percent stays in the home county - $174,000 to 56 groups in this area, including four hospitals, 31 fire departments, three sheriff departments, nine Future Farmers of America (FFA) programs, seven community organizations and other health and wellness groups.

The event was hosted by Randy and Becky Hergott of Hebron, Neb., with Rob and Natalie Marsh serving as co-hosts.

Of the $1.75 million, more than $1.55 million went to the Fred & Pamela Buffett Center for cancer research with the remaining 10 percent ($174,000) staying in the home county for a variety of programs.

A total of 56 groups in this area received proceeds, including four hospitals, 31 fire departments, three sheriff departments, nine Future Farmers of America (FFA) programs, seven community organizations and other health and wellness groups.

At the Sept. 6 check presentation to Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Rob Marsh praised the support of the state.

"The greatest asset to Nebraska are its people," he said, "and I think the greatest asset to the Cattlemen's Ball are the great people in Nebraska.

He said the ball met its three goals -- to promote beef and a healthy diet; to showcase rural Nebraska; and to raise money for cancer research.

"When we started this, we took two buses filled with over 110 people to tour the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha," Marsh said. "With this trip, it generated excitement that you could just feel."

In accepting the check, Dr. Cowan said, "We are truly here for the people of Nebraska. Every ball is a lot of fun and unique. This ball was truly unique from the history of the area, to the pride of everyone that was a volunteer, to the attendees. We would love for Hebron to host the ball again.

"I will say this over and over again. Every single dollar that was given goes to research. Thank you to your community."

The most money ever raised by a Cattlemen's Ball was in 2013 when the Paxton/Sutherland communities hosted the event and raised more than $2.12 million.

The 2019 Cattlemen's Ball will be held June 7-8 in rural Wauneta, a small village of 577 people located in southwest Nebraska. It is about 40 miles west of McCook and 60 miles south of Ogallala.

The ball will be hosted on the ranch of Wayne and Chris Krausnick near Enders Dam on the Frenchman River. The Krausnicks and Derek and Allison Sandman will serve as co-hosts of the event.

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