Cattle Baron’s Ball a ‘total success,’ co-chair says

(Staff photo)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The largest local annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society turned out to be a huge success as organizers shared the record amount of money raised.

“It was a total success,” said event co-chair Caroline Neerman.

“It just shows you how big individuals’ hearts are and their willingness to come together and give.”

Neerman said this year the aim of the event was to raise money for pediatric brain cancer.

The night of the event alone, nearly $100,000 was raised toward the goal.

“Our audible auction raised over $50,000. Silent auction raised close to $20,000 and during the paddle raise, within minutes we raised over $20,000,” she said.

Layla Evetts, 6, who’s fighting a brain tumor doctors describe as inoperable and incurable, led the paddle raise during which participants held up paddles to make direct donations.

Layla has already defied the odds, exceeding what doctors said was her likely life expectancy, and is doing well after starting a trial treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

When diagnosed in February 2018, Layla was given only months to live, but thanks to research and clinical trials, her tumor has shrunk in half.

“We had the most participation ever by guests that attended the Cattle Baron’s Ball and with the help of Layla guests really opened their hearts and their wallets to give to pediatric brain cancer research.”

Neerman said this was the first time she’s chaired an event like this, but she was blown away by the willingness of individuals and businesses to get on board in supporting the cancer society’s mission to “free the world from cancer.”

“It was very rewarding. I've never chaired such a large event and I really enjoyed coming together with the community to raise money for pediatric brain cancer and I'm hopeful that every year Cattle Baron’s continues to be more and more successful.”