Some of those organizing the 2019 Nebraska Cattlemen’s Ball committee are (from left) Joey Large, Myra Large, Julie Jones, Shaun Jones, Carol Maddux, Jack Maddux, Donna Nichols, Ed Nichols, Allison Sandman, Derek Sandman, Chris Krausnick and Wayne Krausnick. The Madduxes and Nicholses are the first major donors to the event. (Johnson Publications photo)
2019 Cattlemen’s Ball coming to Wauneta
Get ready for a stampede—not of cattle, but of cattlemen.
Even though it’s a year out, planning has begun for the 2019 Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska, which will be held near Wauneta June 7 and 8.
Allison Sandman, who along with her husband, Derek, will host the event and is one of its chief organizers, estimates that as many as 3,500 people could show up for the annual two-day event. That would make it possibly the largest event ever held here, she said.
Sandman said the idea to hold the event here came from the Sandmans’ cattle broker, Dick Miles, who also is on the ball’s advisory board.
“He said the ball needs to be back in southwest Nebraska,” she said.
Sandman said her husband was initially reluctant to take on organizing such a big event, but she pointed out to him that “they’re not going to ask us if they didn’t think we could do it.”
But the Sandmans didn’t figure they had quite enough land to host the entire event, which covers about 40 acres, so they talked to Wayne and Chris Krausnick, who agreed to hold it on their property five miles west of Wauneta.
Sandman said the ball has three goals: to raise money for the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha, which receives 90 percent of the proceeds; to promote beef and its role in a healthy diet; and to showcase rural Nebraska.
Sandman, who lost both her father and her grandmother to cancer, said that first goal is particularly important to her.
Tickets for the weekend are a $400 “Trail Boss” ticket, which gets the holder into more events, and a $100 “Top Hand” ticket.
A Trail Boss ticket will get you into virtually every event, while the Top Hand tickets gets you into events Saturday afternoon and evening, the second day.
The schedule is so jam-packed that “the $400 ticket is really your best value,” Sandman said.
While some events begin earlier Friday, the kickoff Friday night is the Trail Boss Reception, which she described as “a social hour with excellent hors d’oeuvres. You won’t walk away hungry.”
A silent auction, which is in addition to three large live auctions held during the two days, also begins Friday.
Saturday will open with a champagne brunch. That will be followed by a fun run; a style show featuring local cancer survivors modeling clothes from area stores; a ranch rodeo in the afternoon; and the ball’s largest event, a prime rib dinner and a live concert.
Organizers have not yet picked the act for the live concert (Sandman said rumors that it will be Alan Jackson are just that—rumors). This year’s ball featured Trace Adkins and Tracy Lawrence. Organizers won’t begin discussing an act until a few months from now, because it can’t be booked until then.
Some entertainment also will be provided by acts with connections to this area. Lexi Larson, a Nashville performer originally from Ogallala, is slated to perform Friday, while Bret Allen and the CRB Band from McCook will perform Saturday.
But the Cattlemen’s Ball is more than just music and food.
There’s those three live auctions, which are expected to have items like tractors, motorcycles and possibly even thoroughbred horses up for bids.
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