Cattlemen's Ball shatters fund-raising record for cancer research

July 16, 2013

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The 2013 Cattlemen's Ball raised $2.12 million to support cancer research, shattering the event's previous record of $1.49 million by some $600,000, event officials announced Monday.

All of the money stays in Nebraska to support cancer research and local health and wellness programs.

Ninety percent of the proceeds -- approximately $1.9 million -- will go to support cancer research at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha. Ten percent of the proceeds -- around $200,000 -- will be distributed as grants to health and wellness organizations in the Paxton-Sutherland area.

"What a phenomenal event," said Ken Cowan, M.D., director of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. "We can't say thanks enough for all the people who made it happen.

"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.

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"The fantastic support of the Cattlemen's Ball will make a difference in the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. It will advance cancer research and provide new hope for cancer patients and their families and friends."

Ken Cowan, M.D.

"The fantastic support of the Cattlemen's Ball will make a difference in the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center," Dr. Cowan said. "It will advance cancer research and provide new hope for cancer patients and their families and friends."

Meeting the $2 million goal was particularly important, because during the event, it was announced that an anonymous donor had offered to give $250,000 to local area food banks if the goal was met.

Approximately 4,400 people attended the 2013 event, which was held June 7 and 8 on the Hanging H Ranch between Paxton and Sutherland. The Ralph and Beverly Holzfaster family and the Neal Hanson family (on whose ranch the event was held) served as hosts for this year's Cattlemen's Ball.

"Exceeding our $2 million goal is a credit to the generosity of the people who joined us-and to the hundreds of volunteers who worked tirelessly to put on an incredible event," said Ralph Holzfaster. "We're very proud and humbled by the show of support-and are deeply gratified that this year's event has raised a record amount to help find a cure for cancer."

The Cattlemen's Ball is hosted annually by a different Nebraska family involved in the beef industry. Its mission is to raise money for cancer research at the UNMC Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, while showcasing rural Nebraska and promoting beef as part of a healthy diet.

Next year's Cattlemen's Ball will be held on the Hoot Owl Ranch in Banner County.

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