Foundation Continues to Honor Timeless Tradition

Although part of the 2020 Annual Benefit Event is canceled, the long-standing tradition of auctioning off steer horns will still take place through submission of sealed bids.

 June 17, 2020 

It is a yearly tradition for the Clara Barton Foundation to auction off a set of longhorn steer horns during their annual benefit auction. Over the years, many different businesses and community members have purchased the horns in support of the foundation, and it has been tradition that each year the horns are donated back to the foundation to be auctioned off during the following year’s benefit. The tradition will again continue for the 29th year, but not at the auction venue as in years past. After the difficult decision was made to cancel the auction portion of the Annual Benefit, the timeless tradition of auctioning off the horns will continue by submitting sealed bids to the Foundation.

Last year during the annual benefit auction, as the bidding kicked off there were many individuals interested in joining the ranks of the longhorns, but as the bid grew higher, the number of bidders grew smaller and the horns were eventually sold to Jim and Celeste Meitner. The Meitners are avid supporters of Clara Barton Hospital and the Foundation and are always eager to attend the Foundation’s Annual Benefit Dinner and Auction. Both Jim and Celeste were involved in the name change of Hoisington Lutheran Hospital to Clara Barton Hospital in 1990, and were involved with the creation of the Clara Barton Foundation. Jim served on the very first Foundation Board of Trustees and was instrumental in helping to plan and raise funds for the Capital Campaign funding the Therapy Services and laundry department expansion. Celeste was the Pharmacy Director at Clara Barton Hospital a total of over 20 years before declaring retirement, and currently still works in the Pharmacy Department on a part-time basis.

 “We have always enjoyed being part of the action during the longhorns live auction bidding,” said Jim & Celeste Meitner. “The horns are a fun and unique item that is a time-honored representation of support for the hospital and foundation. We feel like winning the longhorn bid and recognition is just another way to demonstrate our care and concern for keeping healthcare strong in our community.”

The longhorn tradition began in 1991, just one year after the creation of the Foundation and the name change of the Hospital. The steer horns were first donated to the Foundation by First Kansas Bank and their president, Bill Lebert, of Hoisington. His wife, Kay Lebert, was a dietitian at Clara Barton. The Leberts have been valued members of the Foundation and have generously supported the community over the years.

“There have been several milestones celebrated through securing the winning bid for the longhorn recognition, not only by employees but by several community members, families, and businesses,” said Foundation Director Michelle Moshier. “Whether it is to memorialize a lost loved one, celebrate a retirement, or gain business recognition on our plaque, this tradition was simply too important to completely cancel, even if we couldn’t have our live auction.”

Supporting the Foundation provides assistance to Clara Barton Hospital as a not-for-profit hospital and leads to an investment back into its programs and services. Auctioning the longhorns is a timeless tradition, allowing any supporter to bid and “Take the Bull by the Horns.” Due to the cancellation of this year’s auction portion of the benefit, the auctioning of the longhorns has been modified so the legacy can continue.

“We both grew up in the Hoisington community and have had many family members and friends both work and receive care at Clara Barton Hospital,” said the Meitners. “Our inspiration for supporting the hospital and foundation has been ongoing because we realize just how important it is, to the community and to us, that the hospital continues to thrive.”

This year, the honor of securing the longhorns recognition, along with the opportunity to secure VIP Parking at Clara Barton Hospital, will take place through the submission of sealed bids. There will be a sealed bid form located in the Hoisington Dispatch newspaper, online at www.clarabartonhospital.com/benefit (just click on the Sealed Bid Form button), or forms will also be available at the Clara Barton Hospital admissions desk. This form will need to be used in order to submit an offer for the highest amount the bidder is willing to donate. After reviewing all sealed bids, the winning bidders will then be notified by the contact information provided on the sealed bid form.

Sealed bid offers are to be received on or before Friday, July 10th at 5:00 PM. The sealed bid form needs to be mailed to Clara Barton Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 25, Hoisington, KS 67544 or dropped off at Clara Barton Hospital, located at 250 W. 9th St., Hoisington, KS 67544. For more information on how you can support the foundation, or if there are any questions, please call the foundation at 620-653-5012.

“While we are disappointed the horns won’t be taken down and auctioned off live during our benefit event with this coronavirus setback, we are still optimistic knowing this tradition will carry on,” said Moshier. “We continue to have some amazing supporters and look forward to gathering and welcoming everyone back to the Annual Golf Tournament, Dinner and Auction as normal next year.”

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