Each year I attend the Cattleman’s Ball of Nebraska. It is one of my favorite events because it celebrates Nebraska beef as part of a healthy diet, showcases rural Nebraska and raises money for cancer research.
Formed in 1997 by a group of beef industry leaders, the Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska has become one of the nation’s most successful cancer fundraisers with more than $7 million raised since inception.
This year’s ball is being held June 7-8 at the Hanging H Ranch between Paxton and Sutherland with a theme On the Trail to a Cure. This ranch includes a substantial part of the South Platte riverfront and wildlife habitat. The ranch operation includes grain and hay production, a registered herd of Angus cattle and performance and ranch-bred quarter horses.
Each year, host families are chosen to provide leadership of the Cattlemen’s Ball. This year’s host families are Ralph and Beverly Holzfaster of Paxton and Neal Hansen who owns Hanging H Ranch.
Ralph and Beverly Holzfaster are lifelong Nebraska family farmers. They raised their five children on the farm Ralph’s parents homesteaded south of Paxton. Today the third and fourth generations of family members are actively engaged in the farming and cattle feeding operation.
Neal Hansen was born and raised in eastern Nebraska. Neal’s grandparents were second generation Nebraska farmers. He returned to Nebraska after serving in the U.S. Navy and attended the University of Nebraska, earning his degree in Electrical Engineering. He was a member of the founding management team of First Data Resources, President and CEO of Applied Communications, President-Data Services Group US West and Chairman and CEO of CSG Systems. He is active in a number of educational, healthcare and youth development organizations.
The Cattlemen’s Ball dedicates itself to the promise of providing funds to benefit cancer research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center/Eppley Cancer Center. One of the ways they raise funds is by utilizing Promise Petals. Each individual, volunteer, or participant represents a single petal. This year, the Ball is offering the opportunity to Bloom and Unify. For a $100 donation individuals may sponsor a burlap covered pot full of beautiful annual flowers. Included in the arrangement will be a commemorative “Trail for a Cure” Cattlemen’s Ball 2013 flower stake, as a Memorial Bouquet or Celebration of Survival Bouquet.
Other opportunities include buying raffle tickets to a Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Grand Sport Corvette or a 2013 Ford F150 King Ranch Pickup or by participating in a silent or live auction or by making online donations.
I look forward to spending an evening with Nebraska farmers and ranchers at the 2013 Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska. For more information, visit their website at cattlemensball.com.