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2022 Adult Winner



Brad Wright


6th year of supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

2015; Established 501(c)3  Be the light. Speak up. Speak out
Started Smoke your butt off BBQ

2015; Friendly smoke off between several friends

2016; 2nd annual BBQ, raised $300.00 for AFSP for our "walking for the umpire team"

2017; 3rd annual BBQ, 9 contestants, numerous volunteer hours committed and raised $2472.00

2018; 4th annual BBQ, 11 contestants, countless hours and raised $6733.00

2019; 5th annual BBQ, 16 contestants, due to growth the contest had to be moved to the Cass County Fairgrounds.  Raised $10,125.00
Half of the proceeds went to AFSP for walking for the umpire team

Established a scholarship for a Weeping Water, NE graduate who will be entering the health profession or Technical trade school
--Awarded 2, $250.00 scholarships

Participated in and volunteered in the Out of the Darkness walk.  Team "walking for the umpire" in honor of Brad's stepfather, Everett Hanes.
Honored as top fundraising team for the last two years.

Established a large community support base including receiving airtime on 89.7 the River.

Invitees included the Air National Guard, Veterans Administration and AFSP-NE Chapter to have tables at the BBQ.

2020; 6th annual BBQ, currently being organized with proceeds to expected to expand farther into community.
Had to turn away contestants this year due to size limitations.

To raise awareness and reduce stigma that surrounds Mental Health and Suicide.  To give back to our rural community and surrounding areas.
This is being accomplished by:

1) 2 scholarships (Everett Hanes Memorial Scholarship)
2) Working with Weeping Water to help funding of speakers.  Also, helping to fund the training of 2 therapy dogs for the school.
3) Hosting the BBQ, Inviting key guests to share resources and available programs.

Total hours spent on BBQ year is unknown but the planning starts early January for the event in May.
Volunteer hours are utilized in the following ways.  Estimated 2000 hours for the organizers (Brad and wife Julie)

1) Participants: Help with recruiting, sign up and establishing rules.
2) Entertainment: Recruitment of bands, planning times, finding sound engineer, listening to demo's.
3) Collecting donations:  Monetary Support / Raffle items
4) Writing donation letters, mailing etc.  Picking up donations and putting together the baskets for the raffle.
5) Facebook advertisement and upkeep of website
6) Set up of fairgrounds, day before, day of and after event clean up.


Brad Wright Photo.jpg

2022 Youth Winners




Bellamy Yant

Bellamy loves to volunteer especially when it involves using her leadership skills through sacrificing what little time she has between Soccer and Basketball to help those in need or just through being a mentor.


Volunteer Activities & Years are as follows:


Bellamy was nominated as one of the St. John’s Ambassador’s in her Junior High-class leaders by her teachers and administrators to help mentor elementary school students at St. John’s Elementary School.  Her job is to assist Teachers with projects and mentor the young students as well as set the example of what a Junior High Student should act like.  She assists teachers and fellow Ambassador’s in making important decisions that affect all of the St. John’s Catholic School Students and staff.  (1 Year)


Bellamy has volunteered her time to assist at the HSC, 67th MEB Holiday Parties.  Every year she assists with set-up / tear-down and works the games for other children and Hot Chocolate Bar.  She has donated her time and expertise to the HSC for the last 3 years now and never complains once, unless she runs out of Hot Chocolate that is.


Bellamy has assisted in clean up at General Thayer’s grave and memorial at Wyuka Cemetery here in Lincoln, NE.  This is to help continue the MEB’s tradition in cemetery clean-up efforts through-out the years as she helps pull weeds at his grave-sight prior to Memorial Day annually. 


Bellamy assisted the NE flood victims in 2019 through purchasing supplies and taking them to the 10/11 News Semi-Truck to fill the rear trailer with donations to assist in the clean-up and logistics. 


More recently Bellamy has assisted her mother and the HSC FRG Leader for the HSC, 67th MEB since they have been deployed at all of the “at home” events for our deployed Soldiers.  This included a picnic, holiday party and multiple other events through the year. 


We are all so very lucky to have a Bellamy in our lives who is not afraid to donate her time and efforts to helping out much bigger causes then what most others her age are doing.

Bellamy Yant Photo.jpg


Will Bethune

Activity: Will is very active in his school and community. He is in the band (marching and pep) at school, on Campus Ministry, N-Bots 4-H club (including qualifying for regionals this year), Teen Council for military children, Cross Country and track teams, a Matt Talbot volunteer, a Special Olympics volunteer, and a member of the National Honor Society.


Impact : Will is an active leader. He is also so aware of those around him who may not feel welcome or involved and is quick to include them. He has a passion for people with disabilities and young children and works to include them, engage with them, and help lead them to success in whatever they do.

A good example of this would be recently he was asked to present at a retreat for school for upper classman being only a sophomore himself. He reached out to his 4-H club leader and got the robot he had help build and had been recently using at competitions. He presented 2 mini-sessions on his robot, its function, and talked about the competitions that were part of the process. His peers and upper classman, who were able to choose their favorite activity to go to, chose him as you can see in the picture below.


Another example of this would be Will has been active in his military student community. He had a student reach out to him to ask about military life, what it looks like and ask to see a plane. Will answered his questions, set up a tour at the local guard base, and helped engage the student in the conversations of what the military is all about. The student is now considering a career in the military.


Mission Accomplished: Will is never one to  turn down a volunteer opportunity.  His time in high school has helped him become even more involved. This year alone he has volunteered to work with junior high band students as part of the honor band. He has volunteered at two different retreats including leading groups of peers and upperclassman. He has volunteered 4 times at Matt Talbot soup kitchen. He has volunteered and helped The Lincoln Stars Special Olympic flag football team throughout their season and tournaments.  He has volunteered to  read at Mass in front of the entire class A school.  He volunteers for all band opportunities and needs even when not required to be there. He has gone out of his way to make a student with special needs feel important in his choir class.


School: Will attends Pius X High School. He is involved in Band, Cross Country, Track, Campus Ministry, National Honor Society, Drum line, and choir. He is a 3.8 GPA student while doing all of these activities.

Will Bethune Photo.jpg
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