COVID-19 Scoots 2020 Cattle Baron’s Ball Online

Event chairs Heather Randall, Diana Hamilton look to rustle up cancer research funding

For the first time since 1974, Dallas’ Cattle Baron’s Ball won’t bring together a sizeable in-person crowd of boot-wearing philanthropists to raise money for cancer research. 

The American Cancer Society’s largest single-night fundraiser is scooting online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ball co-chairs Heather Randall and Diana Hamilton have shifted rapidly from plans to have the party at the Star in Frisco to an outdoor event at Klyde Warren Park, and, finally, to a virtual fundraiser. 

The theme–“Just Livin’: Take cancer by the horns,” seems pretty fitting.

“We feel like we did the best thing for our donors and for the community,” Randall said. “While we’re not having a ball, we’re still raising money.” 

Hamilton said she’s been pleased with the community support.

“I really feel like this was a community effort in some ways,” she said. 

“We’ll be revealing plans in early 2021 for October (2021). I would love COVID to be a distant memory at that point.”

Heather Randall

The fundraiser will include the Be the ONE mission fundraising campaign, an online auction, and a raffle.

“We’re hoping with the combination of those three that we can still do the best we can in this uncertain time to raise money for the American Cancer Society,” Randall said.

Over the years, country music’s most revered performers have entertained at the ball. Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Waylon Jennings, Brooks & Dunn, Clint Black, Dwight Yoakam, Big & Rich, Toby Keith, Sugarland, and Brad Paisley have performed, but this year’s virtual event won’t feature a country act.

“We want to cut the biggest check we can back to cancer (research) and, as you know, we had very, very top of the line entertainers and it just didn’t make economic sense to have those entertainers in this environment when you can take all that money and give it back to cancer research,” Randall said.

The ball had booked Dierks Bentley to perform before the virus-forced changes.

Randall, an attorney for AT&T, has been involved with the ball for four years, previously as an underwriting chair and on the underwriting committee. 

“My dad actually died of cancer,” she said. “It was a pretty tragic event in my life, and, when I do do philanthropic work, I like to do something that I truly believe in.” 

Hamilton works as an assistant director of development at Parish Episcopal School and has worked with Cattle Baron’s for seven years, having served as underwriting chair twice, raffle chair, and in-kind chair.

“My true passion about taking cancer down is just that my friends that have been touched by it,” she said.

She and Hamilton will also serve as the 2021 ball chairs. 

Randall said the 2021 Cattle Baron’s Ball is planned for Oct. 23, 2021.

CultureMap Dallas reported that the 2021 event would be at Gilley’s Dallas with Dierks Bentley staying on as the Main Stage entertainer, but Randall said nothing had been finalized for next year’s event. 

“We’ll be revealing plans in early 2021 for October (2021),” she said. “I would love COVID to be a distant memory at that point.”

If You Virtually Attend:

When: The online auction will be Oct. 2-17

Where: Register at cbb20.givesmart.com

Purchase: Call the CBB Office at 214-443-9222 or email cattlebaronsdallas@cancer.org

Time: Raffle drawing will take place Oct. 17

Donate: Visit e.givesmart.com/events/hdi/


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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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