Nearly one million dollars donated through Cattlemen's Ball

Staff Writer

The numbers are in from the Cattlemen’s Ball held at the Lonesome River Ranch in Custer County this June. As a result of the event, nearly 1 million dollars was donated to the Fred & Pamela Buffet Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha as well as local organizations.

According to figures releases Monday, $904,000 was given to the Buffet Cancer Center. The presentation of the check was made Saturday Sept 23 to Dr. Kenneth Cowan.

Local organizations received $90,300.

“The money we raised came from everybody,” Lisa Johnson of the Lonesome River Ranch said. Johnson, along with her husband Jeff, oversaw the conversion of their ranch on the Middle Loup River into a small town for the three day event June 1-3. “We really want to thank everybody…especially those who stepped up and said this was possible.” Johnson added extra thanks to the co-chairs of the event, Karen and Jeff Evans, Cindy and Jim Duncan and Deb and Don Cantrell. “We were fortunate to have everyone participate,” Johnson said and added that she is “thrilled” about the amount of money that was donated.

Of the local money, $28,000 was awarded to Melham Medical Center towards a 3D Mammography system. The Callaway Foundation received $12,000 and the Callaway Good Life Center received $600 to go towards training with IVs.

Local fire and emergency departments received gifts as well. The Anselmo Fire Department received $15,000 toward their new building. Fire departments for Merna and Dunning each received $5,000 to go towards Jaws of Life. Other fire and emergency departments receiving amounts ranging from $300 to $5,000 include Ansley Fire and Rescue, Broken Bow Ambulance Service, Arnold Volunteer Fire Department, Merna EMS, Sargent Ambulance, Oconto Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Sargent Fire Department, Comstock Fire Department and Broken Bow Fire Department. The monies gifted are for new ambulances; Quick Response, trauma and Jump bags; defibrillators; blood pressure monitors; radios; response kits and upgrading UTVs.

In addition, school and youth groups that helped with the ball also received gifts. Co-chair Karen Evans said the Cattlemen’s Ball grants have specific criteria for medical related items, however, with grants through the Custer County Foundation, local organizations whose members helped out also benefited from the ball. Five thousand dollars was distributed to Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters for Anselmo-Merna, Ansley, Broken Bow, Gothenburg, Loup County, Sandhills and Sargent as well as student groups from Anselmo-Merna, Ansley, Broken Bow, Sandhills and Callaway and the trap shooting group the Rockcrushers. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Equestrian team and Collegiate Cattlemen’s group also received grants.

$20,000 is retained by the Cattleman’s Ball to go towards the next year’s event. The 2018 Cattlemen’s Ball will be held at the Hergott Farm of Hebron June 1-2.