"They will not be able to fathom the size of these tents," Hoot - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

"They will not be able to fathom the size of these tents," Hoot Owl Ranch prepares for Cattlemen's Ball 2014

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Nearly 20 acres of land in the southern panhandle has been filled with tents, to prepare for one of Nebraska's largest cancer benefit fundraiser's.  
They're calling it 'tent city.'

"if people are not able to come to the ball, they will not be able to fathom the size of these tents," says Hoot Owl Ranch manager Kenny Stauffer. "The main tent, its 460 feet by 320 feet. These tents are just massive, its quite the site to see. That's why everybody calls it a tent city." 

Hoot Owl Ranch in Banner County is the site of the 2014 Cattlemen's Ball, and ranch workers have been very busy preparing for this weekend's biggest event. 

Stauffer says they've spent the last two years planning and prepping for the ball, and its finally all coming together. 

"I'd have to say the last two weeks have probably been the least stressful in the two years that we've been planning this ball, and that all goes to the amazing committees and volunteers that have been helping us," Stauffer said. "Its just all fallen together these last two weeks, and its been neat to just be out here and watch everything unfold."

More than ten tents make up 'tent city,' and every tent will have a different purpose and exhibit. Three tents will be designated as a beef display, with a live cattle exhibit, speakers, and cattle handling. There will be an art and wine tasting tent, a silent auction tent, a 'general store' tent with area vendors, a 'Friday night' tent for Friday activities and the 5 to Life dance, and the main tent which will host the prime rib dinner and Montgomery Gentry concert. There will also be a "Buffet Cancer Center' tent, where local health organizations will be doing cancer screenings.

Stauffer says this is the first time Hoot Owl has hosted an event to this capacity, and it couldn't have been done without the help of many,many generous businesses and volunteers.

"It was a big honor when we got selected to host the ball, and its been even more of an honor to our family to see the support of the community come together. The businesses, volunteers, committee chairs, that means more to us than hosting the Ball on our ranch, to pull the community together like this."

Stauffer said because of the generosity of those volunteers and businesses, the expenses to host and prepare for the event will cost much less then previous Balls. Stauffer says now, he hopes attendees will be just as generous and donate. 

"Our goal is to raise $2.5 million dollars. They raised 1.9 last year, and we want to beat that out here in western Nebraska.:

Proceeds from the Cattlemen's Ball will go to benefit the UNMC/Fred & Pamela Buffet Cancer center, and local healthcare.
This year's event has sold out, with nearly 4,000 tickets sold. 

"We sold 3,880 tickets, we consider that a sell-out," Stauffer said. "We have to stop at a certain point because the caterers can only handle so much food."
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