Valentine, Neb., holds benefit for heart disease and along with annual Bull Bash |

Valentine, Neb., holds benefit for heart disease and along with annual Bull Bash

VALENTINE — Every year in February, Valentine, the Heart City of Nebraska, shows the love in many ways with the whole community and surrounding area residents coming together to support good health and the beef that is part of a heart-healthy diet.

On Feb. 12, the event kicked off with the third annual Red For Women, Red Dress Event at the Cherry County Fairgrounds. Decorations included stunning red gowns, borrowed from their owners and hung on curtained walls. Crimson attire was encouraged, but not required. A delicious supper of steak,shrimp and all the fixings was prepared by Chef Jerry Poland and Henderson’s IGA. School students, ranging from elementary to high school age, helped take coats, sell raffle tickets and more.

Two hundred tickets were sold and over $11,000 was raised for the Cherry County Hospital, Bryan Health of Lincoln and the American Heart Association. Eighty percent went to the Cherry County Hospital for a new treadmill for their cardiac rehab, then $1,000 each was designated to Bryan and the AHA.

“Any leftover after-expenses goes into helping seed next year’s Red Dress event,” said Scott Peterson, Valentine lawyer, event chairman and emcee for the evening.

Since it was a benefit to fight heart disease, a video by the American Heart Association was shown. Then when Cherry County Hospital nurses Joy Miles and Sharon Brown took the stage, they showed a video of what happens when someone comes to the emergency room with chest pain. Miles had 10 days to enlist her co-workers and family to participate. Her daughter Charity DeLawyer is one of the cardiac rehab nurses at Cherry County Hospital and Miles’ son Caleb, portrayed the heart attack victim.

“What was the hardest part, finding the ER quiet enough and without patients to do it,” Miles said. Though it showed Cherry County Hospital protocol, it actually could be any ER, as the American Heart Association’s protocol is followed with minimal variances nationwide.

Kayla Sandoz-Hunt, a Valentine native now living in Lincoln who works for Bryan Health, explained what happens when a patient gets there from Cherry County Hospital or elsewhere, be it via land or air ambulance.

This was the third year also for a fitness challenge. Theme for this year’s challenge was “Shoot for the Moon”. For 12 weeks, teams of 2 or 4 walked, danced, biked, swam or did some other aerobic exercise. There were 112 ppeople — 20 two-person teams and 18 four-person teams. Those 112 people went the equivalent of 14,785 miles, or from Valentine, Neb., to Hong Kong and back.

On Feb. 13, a 30 mph south wind and temperatures below 30 degrees greeted the attendees of the 15th annual Heart City Bull Bash.

Main Street was where pens were set up for the bulls and for the first time, for the heifers as well.

This event pays tribute to ag with not only the breeding stock on display, but the equipment displays. This day is also for the community, where businesses on Main Street and elsewhere invited visitors in from the cold.

A popular exhibit was one where heaters fueled by propane or diesel were set up to stave off the cold.

Nelson’s Furniture, on the east side of Main, had the People’s Choice Quilt Show. Twila Dewing, an avid quilter in her younger years, was honored by the Piecemakers Quilt Club of Valentine. Friends and family of Dewing, now a resident of Cherry Hills, the nursing home at Valentine, brought over 15 of her ‘fabric art’ for judging and to show.

Security 1st Bank on the west side had on display artwork of all other mediums belonging to the SandPainters Art Club. Amidst the local art, a metal sculpture of the late Arlo Bray of Waverly gave a glimpse to visitors the vision of Hereford enthusiasts for a museum where Nebraska Hereford history can be kept.

Outside the Vet’s Club, hardy veterans and auxiliary members braved the cold to serve hot sandwiches to hungry visitors, who then could go inside the warmth of the club to eat and enjoy live music from the Heartcity Heartwarmers. Other items on sale from other vendors, especially the homemade desserts were popular.

Sandhills State Bank had Ann Carr with her Tall Tails Taxidermy from Burton, Neb., showcasing her talent of preserving fur, feather and reptiles. The Friends of the Public Library were there as well, selling raffle tickets not only for a drawing on a pairs of youth chaps, but for the wine tasting event that closed out the day. Lines were long and snaked around the back room as samples from Sage Hills Vineyard of Parks and Milleta Vista of St. Paul were poured and enjoyed.

The Bull Market was where the 4-H Luck of the Draw tickets were sold and buyers could put their tickets in boxes where the winning ticket was drawn for that item at the end of the day.

Off of Main Street was a gun, knife and ammo show as well as a craft show at the Connot Building. Back on Main Street, Twister Radio had a remote feed with Jim Lambley interviewing special quests during the day. Among his guests were several regional queens who will be vying for Miss Nebraska in June at North Platte.

“There has only been a couple years where the weather was not in the deep freeze or the wind was not blowing a gale,” said Marcia Bauer, past Bull Bash committee chairman, who now lives in Omaha with her husband Ron.

Not all seedstock producers listed were able to come, but the pride and quality of the beef on the hoof was definitely seen by their owners. Ken Stephens, one of the last original Hereford Alley breeders brought heifers this year. Hereford Alley was the moniker given US 83 from Thedford to Valentine in the 1950s to ‘70s due to the number of breeders.

Stephens’ family was in Valentine then, and still is. He was one of the committee members that helped organize the first ever Hereford Crossroads Reception at the Thomas County Fairgrounds last October.

“We have set the date for this year’s — Oct. 15th, same place,” he said.

Stephens served as emcee for the event. Pride in his voice was evident when he discussed the two groups of heifers he brought with him.

“We’ve brought bulls in the past, just as they were in the pasture, not coddled, washed or trimmed, so this year wanted to show what our bulls can produce. The two year olds had been running with the old cows, eating grass and mineral tubs,” he said. “We just took them off about a week ago, they are weighing 1,000 pounds. The younger ones are not quite yearlings yet, but they are on tract weight wise as well.”

Other breeds besides Herefords included Angus and Simmental. The champion pen of three Simmental bulls at the National Western Stock Show were there from Kearns Cattle Co. /Rocking J of Rushville with three generations of Kearns on hand to show them off. Tom, Zach and Jaxon, age 7, were prepared to be out in the cold to show off their winning stock.

Jerry Adamson, the Rocking J of the operation, had on hand a pen of three heifers, including the one he won in a raffle for $100 out at the NWSS.

“We’ll definitely make our money back on her through the years,” he said.

On the south end of the pens, Hoffman Herefords of Thedford bought part of the bulls that helped them win the Hereford Carload Pen of Bulls at the NWSS. They are gearing up for their annual sale Feb. 19 at their ranch north of Thedford. Pen exhibitors had tickets to give visitors for a chance to win a custom made hat from Kaycee Orr-Hoffman of Bar-None Hats of Thedford. Her husband Jason was braving the cold outside with their bulls while she was cleaning and shaping hats — and staying warm — at Sandhills State Bank.

All in all, Bull Bash committee members, past and present felt the day was a winner for the Heart City of Nebraska despite the typical weather that accompanied it. ❖

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