It was an honor and a privilege to be asked to Emcee the Cattle Barons Ball this year as they celebrate their 20th anniversary in the fight against cancer.

Cattle Barons Ball Committee

I was invited to Emcee this grand event early this year. My Ashley and Colton were still here on earth and were so proud of me. I told them that I was nervous, they said "You Got This"! So I promised I would go forward and make them even more proud by accepting the invitation.

After the events of the summer, their deaths, I wondered if I should bow out of my commitment. The committee chair, Rose Stoller offered me the opportunity to pull out of the 'gig' with no hard feelings and complete understanding. After thinking about it and talking with my James, I came to the only conclusion that I could, I would NOT bow out. Ashley and Colton, well quite frankly would not allow it. To lay down would go against everything I taught them and everything they taught me. Their lives mattered, they had a fantastic impact on their community, their school and their family, so this weekend I will honor them by being strong and helping an incredible organization.

This years Cattle Barons Ball pulls out all the stops with bigger and better live and silent auction items and large entertainment with Leann Rimes.  The theme is Rhinestones, Ropers and Rubies, led this year by team Stoller. Team Stoller is made up of Rose and her two daughters, Brandi and Caitilin. The American Cancer Society is very excited to be working with Rose and her daughters, with great cause...

"Success is a direct reflection of the effort, pride & passion with which a person lives,” said Stoller and this year’s event will be a reflection of 20 memorable years of the Cattle Barons Ball. With a heart to serve, and her daughters by her side, Team Stoller will create an event for all to remember. Rhinestones, Ropers and Rubies will be in honor of the volunteers, the donors, the survivors and the ongoing search for the cure to cancer.

The American Cancer Society introduced the Cattle Barons Ball, a nation wide event in 1974. They have raised nearly 50 million dollars for cancer research and is the largest single night fundraiser in the world.

Troubling statistics in America in regards to cancer:

A total of 1,638,910 new cancer cases and 577,190 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the United States in 2012.

It seems most of us have been affected by cancer in one way or another. My mother, grand-mother and aunt all survived cancer. My elementary school friend, Ronda, is a survivor and a blessing in my life. And there are many more in my life that I have known that have both survived and surrendered. I am proud to honor my promise to Ashley and Colton and proud to be a part of the Cattle Barons Ball and all of the great people that have worked so hard to put it together. May we continue to educate and find cures and effective treatments  for cancer.

This years Rhinestones, Ropers and Rubies 20th anniversary Cattle Barons Ball takes place this Saturday night at the Spicer Arena in Eaton.