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Great Bend Chamber named Old Bill honoree at 36th annual Barton Foundation Auction
Tickets available until Aug. 15
new slt auction-old-bill

‘Buffalo Club’ legacy continues

The Foundation’s Big Benefit Auction had a Western theme in 1981, and the Claflin Fire Department donated a buffalo head to add a bit of humor to the event.
“Old Bill” was sold to the highest bidder and brought in $700 the first year.
The work of taxidermy art was then donated back to the college and it was displayed at Camp Aldrich. It was auctioned the same way every year for the next two decades, raising tens of thousands of dollars for academic scholarships and program enhancements.
In 2002 “Old Bill” was transitioned to an honorarium. Instead of bids, auction attendees make pledges toward the Foundation’s cause in the name of longtime supporters of the college.
Buffalo Club members, listed by year of purchase, are:
1981 – Butch Peschka
1982 – Bob & Dotty Keenan/ D.J. Iannitti
1983 – Don & Delores Gibson/Don Kirkman
1984 – Roy & Marcia Westhoff
1985 – Ed & Bette Moses
1986 – Maloy & Pauline Breitenbach
1987 – Larry & Connie Shell/Danny & Darlene Biggs
1988 – Keith & Pat Bell/George & Phyllis Miller/Virgil Belford
1989 – Jerry & Lois Alban
1990 – Chuck & Ellen Pike/Illa & Phil Grossardt
1991 – Albert Gumbir
1992 – W. R. & Yvonne Robbins
1993 – W. R. & Yvonne Robbins
1994 – Lynn & Nancy Fryberger
1995 – M. E. & Margy Marmie
1996 – Max & Rosie Bennett/Larry & Mona Keenan
1997 – Dale & Yvonne Mitchell/Larry & Lynnae Partridge
1998 – Commercial Federal/Jomax Construction/Straub International/Ward Fee Yard/L.D. Davis Drilling
1999 – Rick & Lois Ball/John & Nancy Francis
2000 – Phil & Kim Grossardt
2001 – Alan Moeder & Gail Reser
2002 – Friends of Jimmie L. Downing
2003 – Friends of Jim & Jo Heaton
2004 – Friends of Dale & Donna Oliver
2005 – Friends of Don & Phyllis Whelan
2006 – Friends of George & Frances Tregellas
2007 – Friends of Keith & Marian Mull
2008 – Friends of Dan & Nancy Peschka
2009 – Friends of A. A. (Al) Yost
2010 – Friends of M. E. “Eustace” Marmie
2011 – Friends of Roger & Mary Lou Murphy
2012 – Friends of the Koelsch Family - June, Ron, & Debbie
2013 – Friends of Tim Miller
2014 – Great Bend Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development
Old Bill is still around, residing in the upper level of the Barton Student Union.

The Big Benefit Auction on Aug. 23 will offer premium items for top bidders to enjoy while supporting scholarships and program enhancements at Barton Community College. One item that no one will take home but that many will bid on is “Old Bill,” a storied buffalo head that resides in the BCC Student Union.
Usually the Barton Foundation chooses an individual or family to honor with the Old Bill Honorarium. This year the Foundation Board wanted to honor the business community in Great Bend by choosing to honor the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce, said Coleen Cape, event organizer.
“It is not possible for us to honor each business that so generously supports our auction each year,” Cape said. “So by honoring the chamber, which supports and promotes our entire business community, we feel we are honoring all of them as well. In addition, the chamber is a loyal and long-time supporter of the auction. Each year the chamber honors individuals and businesses at its annual membership banquet; the Foundation is pleased to be able to reciprocate by honoring the chamber for its promotion and contributions to our community.”
Cape said the Old Bill tradition has netted nearly $190,000 for the benefit of students since it was started 33 years ago.
This year’s auction, “Barton Dynasty: Hunting for Bucks,” is set for Aug. 23 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Great Bend. The event is set for 6 p.m. and the live auction starts at 8 p.m.
Auction items will range from works of art and baked goods to hunting packages.
Tickets can be purchased for $35 each or $280 per table of eight. Contact Cape at 620-786-1136 or for tickets or more information. Tickets will be available until Aug. 15.
The auction is the Foundation’s main fundraiser for academic scholarships and program enhancements.