BRIEF HISTORY OF COWFORD BALL
Drawing its name from our city’s obscure beginning as a cattle crossing on the St. Johns River, the “Cow Ford” gala plays host to a range of denim-clad, boot-stomping patrons since 1995. The event began at the impetus of ACS volunteer, the late Dot Fischette. Her goal was to focus the society’s fundraising efforts into one blockbuster event. Chaired by Deanna Still and Judson Theran, the event drew hundreds of patrons to the inaugural ball and raised $120,000. Although it is modeled after the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) nationwide Cattle Barons’ Ball, Cowford Ball is unique to Jacksonville.
In its long history, Cowford Ball has become the number one charity fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, having raised more than $7.8 million since its inception. The western-style extravaganza features live entertainment, dancing, live and silent auctions, gaming tables, midway games and gourmet western fare.
Over the years, Cowford Ball has earned its reputation as Jacksonville’s favorite and most ambitious fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The event continues to grow each year, attracting more sponsors and patrons. An anticipated 800 individuals will attend the 2016 Cowford Ball, which will raise $500,000 to help support life-saving cancer research, patient services, and education in prevention and early detection.