Posted 12 months ago
By Scott Carlson
Christmas at the Cody’s Thank-You
Christmas at the Cody’s 2013 wrapped up Sunday night with a beautiful snow fall that turned Buffalo Bill’s ranch into a winter wonderland. Over the course of the four-night event, 1,417 people walked through the door, down slightly from the 2012 numbers. Overall, the event brought in $5,668 in admission fees, which, when coupled with the generous corporate donations, covered all of the expenses of the event, including the payment to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for the use of their facility and the staff time.
The steering committee for Christmas at the Cody’s, which includes Lisa Burke and Muriel Clark of the North Platte / Lincoln County Visitors Bureau, David Fudge from NEBRASKAland DAYS, Dan Mauk from the North Platte Area Chamber and Development, and Jeff Boeka and Jennifer Priest from the Lincoln County Tourism Advisory Council are very appreciative of the time and financial commitment the community made to the event.
A $1,500 community betterment grant from the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation provided the seed money without which Christmas at the Cody’s would not have been able to go forward.
Corporate sponsorship came from many businesses, including Neidhardt CPA, NebraskaLand National Bank, Swans Furniture, Gateway Realty, Edward Jones, US Cellular, A Cut Above, the WalMart Distribution Center, Eakes Office Plus and Meyer Creative.
In addition, many media partners including KNOP-TV, 10/11 North Platte, the North Platte Post, the North Platte Telegraph, the North Platte Bulletin, Eagle Radio and Huskeradio helped to publicize the event.
Though they didn’t receive any monetary compensation, many individuals and non-profit organizations helped in the success of the event. These include North Platte Kids Club, the Maxwell Girl Scouts, Great Plains Hospice, the North Platte Community College Rodeo Club, the Opportunity Center, Wish I May, Signe Assels and the North Platte Jaycees. The Lincoln County Tourism Advisory Council volunteered to act as the financial manager of the event, in addition to providing numerous volunteers.
People were also very generous with their time, as it took more than fifty volunteers to pull off the event. These included Ray Holt, Don Licking and Tim Vaughn, local ranchers who brought their teams in to pull the hayrack each evening. Many entire families came out in the cold to help make the event a success. Not enough can be said about the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission staff, including former superintendent Aric Riggins, caretaker Lois Branting, and the new superintendent Jason Tonsfeldt. They gave so generously and graciously of their time, going over and above what their duties called for.
What would Christmas at the Cody’s be without Buffalo Bill and Santa Claus and even Annie Oakley? Special appreciation goes out to Bruce Richman, Vicki McCarty, Joe Hewgley and Mike Hinde for generously portraying these characters.
A long list of very talented individuals gave of their time to provide entertainment in the Cody mansion. These include Carol Scroggins’ students; Sweet Adelines; Tintinnabulators Hand Bells, Laurie Ryan; Karen Matthies; Gospel Lites & Phyllis Dowling; Terry Trego; Julie & Mary Jacobson; Jacque, Morgan & Alex Harms; Darlene Stewart; Rob Martinson; Kent Kittle; Bryan, Mary Lynn & Laura Lynn Horst; and Stu & Rajean Shepherd.
Much thought has already been given to the 2014 event and organizers are hopeful Christmas at the Cody’s will continue to be a holiday tradition in North Platte.
-Muriel Clark, Christmas at the Cody’s Steering Committee