Cattle producers turn out for Nebraska Cattlemen Sandhills Affiliate’s Winter Ball | TheFencePost.com

Cattle producers turn out for Nebraska Cattlemen Sandhills Affiliate’s Winter Ball

Terri Licking
for The Fence Post

The Hooker County Community Center on the fairgrounds west of Mullen had hardly an empty seat when it came to sit and enjoy the tantalizing prime rib supper from Gregg and Dawn Mallory of the Chuckwagon N Jug which was capped off by a myriad of cheesecakes and fruit crisps.

Cattle producers are hearty stock; they must be as they care for their animals when the snow, cold and wind show no mercy; so, having the wind and cold again on New Year's Eve for the second annual Nebraska Cattlemen Sandhills Affiliate's Winter Ball did not deter many from enjoying ringing in the New Year with friends.

It had snowed in the morning, but not enough to worry about. "It was warmer than last year ­— wind chill of 20 below versus 30," said an unnamed source.

The Hooker County Community Center on the fairgrounds west of Mullen had hardly an empty seat when it came to sit and enjoy the tantalizing prime rib supper from Gregg and Dawn Mallory of the Chuckwagon N Jug which was capped off by a myriad of cheesecakes and fruit crisps. They also provided the cash bar that was a popular place.

Helping serve and clean-up were the FFA clubs from Sandhills High School at Dunning and Thedford High School. "Our area has three high schools, so we alternate every year which group helps. Last year, Mullen FFA benefitted," said Tessa Quittner, Halsey, secretary of the NCSA.

Frank Utter, Brewster, president of the NCSA, welcomed the 175 in attendance. The evening is the major fundraiser for the group, helping provide scholarships to graduating seniors and in 2018, they awarded their first collegiate scholarship. Awarded scholarships were Paige Martindale and Jaylee Simonson, who graduated in May from Sandhills High, and Kelsey Phillips who was in her second year of college. All girls received $1,000 scholarships from the NCSA.

The Nebraska Cattlemen divides the state into nine regions. Region 2 includes the Sandhills Affiliate, Hyannis Affiliate, Bassett Affiliate and Valentine Cattlemen.

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To assist in the funding, donors gave a myriad of items for the silent auction and several large items were auctioned live. A rifle also was raffled off. The NCSA seeks sponsorships from area businesses once per year. Those sponsorships help with the annual Winter Ball, the summer golf outing and steak supper at the Dismal River Golf Club in June and the annual fall ranch tour.

"We hope we can secure enough funds from this year's Winter Ball to allocate for another annual scholarship," Utter said. At press time, the final net income for the evening was unavailable.

Besides Utter and Quittner, other NCSA board members helping make the night a huge success included John Kraye and Miles Mundorf, Mullen, Adam Zutavern, Troy Saner, Dunning, Dan Wacher, Kelly Kennedy, Purdum and Eric Schipporeit, Brewster. Absent for the ringing in of the New Year was Brenda Masek, the past president of the NCSA, who just recently completed her term as vice-chair of Region 2 membership services for Nebraska Cattlemen.

2019 was brought in with music by Blue Mesa band from Kearney.

The NCSA will host its annual reorganizational meeting Jan. 14 at the Sandhills Corral in Thedford. All are welcome. Contact one of the board members for more information. ❖