McCool Junction– The 2012 Cattlemen's Ball of Nebraska in McCool Junction raised more than $1.4 million, the second highest total in the ball's 15-year history of providing support to the Eppley Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
This marks the third straight year the Cattlemen's Ball has topped the $1 million mark. The all-time high was $1.49 million raised at the 2011 ball in West Point. In 2010, the ball held in Kearney raised $1,003,000.
As in past years, 90 percent of the proceeds go toward cancer research at the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center with the remaining 10 percent going toward local organizations.
This year's breakdown was $1,244,270 to the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center and $141,030 distributed locally to 21 different organizations. In addition, $5,000 was raised for scholarships at the UNMC College of Nursing.
The proceeds were announced Tuesday evening at the Stone Creek Event Center near McCool Junction. Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center, was in McCool Junction for the announcement.
Since the ball's inception in 1998, more than $7.61 million has been raised.
"I continue to sound like a broken record," Dr. Cowan said. "It seems like every year the Cattlemen's Ball does something remarkable. This year's $1.4 million is amazing. I know it represents a ton of work by the entire community of McCool Junction as well as many other people in York County.
"We are absolutely thrilled with what has happened to the Cattlemen's Ball. It has evolved into probably the biggest fundraising event for the entire state. We are honored to be associated with it."
This year's event was hosted by the Allen and Shelly Clark family of McCool Junction and held at the Stone Creek Event Center. Co-chairs of this year's ball were Paul and Cheri Underwood and Jim and Kathy Matzner of McCool Junction. Ivan Rush of Scottsbluff served as chairman of the Statewide Advisory Board.
"This was a total team effort involving McCool Junction and numerous surrounding communities," said Shelly Clark. "We had the help of more than 500 volunteers and 45 committees, and more than 4,000 attended the ball. We are delighted to make such a generous donation to support the outstanding cancer research being done at the Eppley Cancer Center. But, it's also rewarding to see many local organizations benefit as well."
The 2013 Cattlemen's Ball will be June 7th and 8th at the Hanging H Ranch near Sutherland, Neb. It will be hosted by the Neal Hansen family and the Hanging H Ranch and Ralph and Beverly Holzfaster and family. Co-chairs are Jon Holzfaster and Tim and Deb Holzfaster.