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Two years ago this month, I accepted the chairmanship of the Honoring the Legacy…Building the Future capital campaign. It didn’t take much arm-twisting to convince me to do this. I have been coming to the Stock Show for as long as I can remember; I started bringing my kids as soon as they could walk; and then Marilyn and I started bringing the grandkids, often before they could even walk! We look forward to the “best 16 days in January”—as this year’s tagline asserts— every year, and I don’t think there’s a single day that I am not here. So when Pat Grant and Ron Williams approached me about chairing this effort, I readily said yes.
As most of you know, a capital campaign of this magnitude is unchartered territory for National Western. Over the years, we have been fortunate to have financial support through the Citizen of the West dinner, the Coors Western Art show and the Junior Livestock Auction; those funds support the Western Stock Show Association Scholarship Trust. But raising $100 million is a whole different ballgame. And yet, I have always believed we could do this—and even more.