The North Platte Public School Foundation's twin events -- Steppin' Out for Education and the Bulldog Backyard BBQ – raised nearly $51,000, an all-time record.The annual fundraisers were held Friday, Sept. 21 before the North Platte football team defeated Fremont. The total raised was $8,700 more than last year, Foundation Executive Director Jackie Lucas said.
Lucas said the fundraisers set many records.
Twenty-nine BBQ teams participated, the most in the four-year history of the BBQ.
Lucas said the walk garnered $22,697, the most in the seven-year history of the walk.
The fundraisers have generated $258,707 since 2005, Lucas said.
Fundraising begins in September, when students solicit pledges for their walk and donate spare change.
This year, McDonald Elementary raised the most of any school – more than $4,000.
with the single biggest check -- $2,347. The school raised more than $4,000, of which $759 was spare change they collected, Principal Tim Vanderheiden said.
Lucas also noted that Lake Maloney Elementary raised $2,108 this year, a $1,283 increase from their total of $825 last year.
She also credited the efforts at both Osgood and the Lake schools, where nearly 70 percent of students obtained pledges.
Each school receives more than half the money they raise to spend as they see fit. This year, McDonald received a check for $2,347 – half the money they raised plus $329 from a matching sponsor.
The other half of the funds raised remain with the foundation and is awarded as REACH grants – grants to teachers for special academic projects.
Lucas expressed gratitude for the contributions of signature sponsor NebraskaLand National Bank, as well as:
Corporate sponsors Dr. & Mrs. Hatch, Kwik Stop, NMC Cat, Pro-Printing & Graphics, Hometown Family Radio, Phelps Family Dentistry, Mid America Bio Energy & Commodities and Union Pacific Railroad.
Matching sponsors: Weathercraft, First Nebraska Financial Services, the North Platte Jaycees, Bob & Rosie McFarland, Ben & Libby Lashley, GPRMC, States Family Practice, Dr. & Mrs. McKenzie, Sandhills Physical Therapy, Swan’s Furniture, Gateway Realty, Snell Services, the North Platte Foot Clinic, Shawn & Michelle Murdock, U-Save Pharmacy, Gifford & Cox LLC and North Platte OB-GYN.
Supporting Sponsors: Barrett Klemm, Farmers State Bank, Pat Hanson, Michael & Camilla Simonson, Ray & Mary Carlson, Tim & Molly O’Holleran, Whitetail Screen Print, Cedar Bowl, Darlene Small, Shawn & Michelle Murdock, BW Insurance, Eagle Radio, Clark & Diana Diffendaffer, Internal Medicine Associates, Joe Hewgley and Associates, Walmart DC, Gary’s Super Foods, Equitable Bank, Ben & Becky Bissell, WILK Builders, North Platte Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine, Pepsi, A Cut Above, Fontanelle Seed, North Platte Booster Club, Tom Hansen, Gracie Mae’s and Ameriprise Financial.
Among the 29 BBQ Teams were Bob Spady Buick GMC, Smoke N' Hot BBQ Team, the Jaycees BBQ Team, Cody Elementary 5th graders, Ambassadors, Nebraskaland National Bank, NPPS Principals, Great Western Bank, Sandhills Pediatric Dentistry, Bill Summers Ford, Margie's Bar & Grill, the FCCLA Grillers, the North Platte Hostesses, the Go "Blue" Go - ECP Team, The Smoking Meat Men, the North Platte Public Schools Board of Education, Gracie Mae's, Doc Mama – LCMA, Sandhills Physical Therapy, North Platte Noon Rotary, Marc Kaschke for Mayor, Brown & Doughty, the Class of '92 BBQ Crew, the North Platte Police Department the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office - We Know Pig, Maple Park Dental's Mexicana Cantina, Al's Smokehouse, Pratt Dental, Great Plains Regional Medical Center – Antacids, and Dwight Livingston for Mayor.