Newman University Fundraiser Offers Unique Auction Items, Vocal Demo Included

Sep 11, 2009

Live Music, Re-enactments and More at Upcoming ‘Party on the Ponderosa’

Wichita, Kan. – Those attending Newman University’s final reprise of the “Party on the Ponderosa” Sept. 26 will have the opportunity to step into the Old West while also enjoying the opportunity to bid on modern day auction items. The fundraiser is the culminating event for Newman’s year-long 75th anniversary celebration.

The event will feature a western steak and pork chop dinner buffet, refreshments, and strolling entertainers in period costumes including “Buffalo Bill Cody,” the Dixie Lee Dance Troupe, fiddlers Chelley Graves and Sarah Baxter, and cowboy poet and western singer Dave Zerf. The party will also feature gunfight re-enactments by Bigger Than Life Productions and Newman staff members. The Bucky Fowler Band will take center stage as a highlight of the evening which will close out with a fireworks display over the prairie.

The event is hosted by Mid-America Ag Network owner Larry Steckline and his wife Carla Stovall Steckline and is co-chaired by Mark and Shirley Dugan, owners of U.S. Road Freight Express in Wichita. The event will take place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, on the Steckline ranch, 3201 S. 279th Street West in Garden Plain, Kan., just 10 minutes west of Wichita.

Several creative activities are also planned for fun and laughs, each designed with a western flair including prairie golf, “cowpoke caricatures,” a shooting and gaming gallery, and chicken poop keno to name a few.

A live and silent auction are also part of the evening as the “Party on the Ponderosa” benefits Newman University student scholarships. One of the most unique auction items is a vocalist get-away in Hollywood. This travel package offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to record a demo and compete on stage in Los Angeles. The trip includes airfare to Los Angeles courtesy of AirTran Airways, two nights in the new AVIA Long Beach boutique hotel and three days in Hollywood, Calif. The package also includes two hours of personal vocal coaching with country artist and vocal coach Hannah Anders, known nationally and internationally, and a two-hour demo recording session with Daniel Ford, who has written and engineered in the production studio of Chuck Howard, producer of Rascal Flatts, LeAnne Rimes, Kid Rock, Johnny Cash and many others. The trip ends with a live performance at The Big Stage at Palmer Room in LA (

Additional auction items include:

  • A trip for two to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas
  • A one-week stay at a five-bedroom Table Rock Lake vacation home
  • Flint Oaks hunt for four with meals and overnight lodging, choice of European hunt or upland bird field hunt
  • Flint Hills National golf outing for four, which includes 18 holes, golf carts and access to the driving range
  • Beer Tasting party for 25, which includes several sample brews, a place to host your party and snacks

Additional gift certificates, products and services from a variety of Wichita businesses will also be up for auction. For a complete list, visit and follow the ad for the “Party on the Ponderosa.”

“We’re very appreciative of the many sponsors who have supported Newman’s 75th Anniversary and the “Party on the Ponderosa” event,” said Tom Borrego, vice president for Institutional Advancement at Newman. “The auction items available will prove to be exciting, and the entertainment will be top-notch. We’re also giving away a 2009 Chevy Aveo5 that night compliments of Joe Self Chevrolet, so we invite the Wichita/metro community to come out and join us for a unique evening of fun.”

Admission to the party is $100 per person. Tickets and more information are available online at, or by calling the Newman University Advancement Office at 316-942-4291, ext. 2228.

Ponderosa presenting sponsors include:

1410 Sports Radio KGSO, US 107.9 KWLS, Auburn Spirits, Joe Self Chevrolet – Cadillac, Inc., Simpson and Associates, and The Wichita Business Journal

Newman University 75th Anniversary sponsors include:

KSN Channel 3, Commerce Bank, Bell’s Abbey Carpet and Floor, Preferred Health Systems, Cessna, Catholic Family Federal Credit Union, and Mid-America Ag Network.