Thedford's Built Ford Tough Day Huge Success

September 21st, bright and early the Thomas Co. Fairgrounds at the Crossroads of the Sandhills, which is the Jct. of Hwy 2 and N 83, was the place to be to see friends and family gathered in support of Ford Miller, a 2003 graduate of Thedford High School in his battle against cancer.

The day's theme -' Built Ford Tough' was organized by Ford's friends, Kyle & Kari Haake, Thedford, and Josh & Sarah Call, Mullen, with a host of other family and friends helping out.

The day began with co-ed breakaway roping. Usually this is a girl's only rodeo sport, but if the boys paid, they could 'play'. Next was the team roping which began at 10:30 and lasted close to the free will donation bar-b-q time at 6. Over 240 teams paid $30 each for 3 chances. Over $3000 was raised in the rodeo arena alone that day.

Steers used were brought in by Dennis Drews, Brownlee, Joel Johnston, Thedford, Jim Opela and Brett Haake, Stapleton.
After supper, there was a live and silent auction. Some of the live auction items included three mares, cow dog pups, hay, artwork, tack, livestock tubs and prime seats at the NFR which was donated by Steve Dent, PRCA cowboy, who was able to be present with his wife and young son.

Ford and Steve began their friendship in high school as competitors on the gridiron, the basketball court and in the rodeo arena.

The auction took 4 hours to complete, where over $20,000 was raised. The beer garden was by the Nightcrawlers Bar from Worms, NE. and the live music was provided by Bud Cleveland and the Cribbage Players of Hyannis, NE. Each donated their time, labor and travel expense to help Ford.

Ford and wife, Mollie now call Stapleton home. Mollie is the 6th grade teacher at Stapleton. "Ford's been battling cancer now for 4 months.

Prior to his first surgery, the prognosis was not good, but we know that prayers do work, for they did not have to do as extensive surgery as they had first thought. He is undergoing treatments at the Callahan Cancer Center in North Platte, along with trips as needed to Denver and elsewhere. The Callahan is so nice to have close to home." Mollie appreciates her teaching as a diversion from the stress and tension they are enduring.

Ford at the beginning of the auction thanked everyone for the show of support he, Mollie and their family have been given. "We have been overwhelmed with the love and support of everyone. GOD is so good!, exclaimed Mollie. If you would like to donate to aid Ford in his fight against cancer, donations can be sent to the Build Ford Tough fund at Security First Bank, POB 288, Thedford, 69166. If you would like to show your support both financially and proudly, T-Shirts can be purchased from their designer and maker, Janelle Jennings at Seneca. Contact her at or calling her at 308-639-3253. As the back of the shirts proclaim, Ford is not fighting this battle alone and September 21st indeed proved that.

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