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Opinion: Annual auction adds cattle for charity

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One thing I’ve learned in volunteer fundraising work is that organizations have to one-up themselves to earn that next dollar.

The current case in point is the livestock auction at the American Cancer Society’s annual Cattle Baron’s Ball. After last year’s event added livestock to the live auction – a $125,000-grossing move – the ball’s planning committee has arranged to donate the beef from this year’s auctioned steers to charity organizations. The charity component is helping to create buzz about these genetically esteemed animals.

Proceeds from the entire livestock auction, which will include roughly 30 cattle, horses and a llama, benefit ACS’ cancer research and patient aid. Beef from about half the cattle auctioned will help to meet the food needs at charities such as The Kitchen, Victory Mission and Boys & Girls Town, said Cassi Dowling, a Journal Broadcast Group account executive who is helping to organize the livestock auction. Individuals such as Dr. Roger Holden, Ron Locke, Jerry Tolbert and Joe Naegler, as well as the Journagan Ranch, have donated cattle for the beef donations.

Cattle companies Circle A Ranch, Clearwater Angus Farm, Pinegar Limousin Farm and Hunter Angus, as well as Holden, have donated purebred bulls and females for the premium cattle auction, which could fetch bids up to $25,000 – as they did last year. Dowling said the average bid is expected to be about $10,000.

The interest among donors is high, but Dowling said cattle donations have come in slower than hoped because they’ve already been sold or the animals are too young for auction. “It’s not the lack of interest. It’s the timing,” she said.

Buyers of the premium bulls will have the option of donating the animals to the Missouri State University Agriculture Department.

One-tank trip
Four-hundred thirty-six. The odometer rolled to the six just as we pulled into our garage.

My wife and I successfully made a two-day celebratory trip close to home. The state parks division suggests multiple one-tank trips at www.mostateparks.com, and our destination was the Boonville/Rocheport/Columbia area, with special attention to the Missouri River and Katy Trail.

With high gas prices – $1 more per gallon than last summer in Missouri – and prudent budgeting on our minds, we opted not to break the bank. Maybe you can relate. This trip came in under $300.

We stayed at the Hotel Frederick, a bed-and-breakfast-style, 106-year-old hotel on the banks of the river in Boonville. The “Fred” shines in this dull, yet historically pertinent, town of 8,000.

Rocheport is home to Les Bourgeois Vineyards & Winery, a must-stop to any central Missouri visit, and arguably the Katy Trail’s most scenic section – including reportedly the only tunnel.

We recommend Les Bourgeois’ Sunday brunch in its bluff-top bistro overlooking the river valley and a stroll through the on-site vineyard.

Not far from the winery rests Rocheport’s vintage shops, homes and bed-and-breakfasts. The 1890s-built narrow stone tunnel was made infamous from scenes in a TV movie of Stephen King’s “Sometimes They Come Back.” The people in this town of 200 still hold dearly the camera crew’s early 1990s visit, and they talk honestly about the town’s current economic and tourism struggles in the face of fewer travelers and unwelcoming summer heat. I sensed the farewell, “Come back and visit us again,” meant more than usual in these times.

A highlight was renting bicycles at the Trailside Café and Bike Shop and cruising in the sweltering heat with towering bluffs on one side and the Missouri River on the other.

Other one-tank trip destinations in the region include the Nathan Boone homestead near Ash Grove, a vast tallgrass prairie near Liberal, the Rock Bridge Memorial State Park south of Columbia and sailing at Stockton State Park. It’s a nice way to hit the road for enjoyment and keep a little money for the necessities at home.

Correction box move
You’ll notice in this week’s edition that the Correction box is moved up to Page 4. The placement of publishing all corrections, clarifications and omissions on our Opinion pages predates my hiring as a reporter in fall 2000.

Recently, while presenting to a group of area professionals, the correction placement came up in the discussion. We’ve responded with the move toward the front of the issue to better serve our readers.

We strive for accuracy, but when errors or omissions arise, we want to quickly set the record straight and publish it in a place for as many to view as possible.

Springfield Business Journal Editor Eric Olson is co-chairman of the Cattle Baron’s Ball publicity committee. He can be reached at eolson@sbj.net.[[In-content Ad]]

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