The 2023 Sheepherders Ball celebration and fundraiser will take place on Saturday, December 16, at the Basque Center, 601 W. Grove St, Boise, Idaho 83702. The Oinkari Basque Dancers will perform at 8:00 PM, followed by the lamb auction which raises funds for the Basque Foundation charities account. The dance, featuring Michael Barriatua and Spoonful will begin after the lamb auction. The cost for the dance is $5 for those 13 and older. It is free to those 12 and under. We will have our December Holiday Dinner prior to the dance, and your admission to the dinner will allow you to stay for the dance.
The Sheepherders Ball and Lamb Auction is the primary source of funding for the Basque Foundation’s charity account. The first Sheepherders Ball was held in 1929, after John Archabal convinced two Basque men’s organizations to combine their annual Christmas dances into one unified event for Basques. In 1974, the Sheepherders ball was open to the public. Basil and Dorothy Bicandi Aldecoa donated a lamb for the event’s first auction to raise money for charity. The Sheepherders Ball and Lamb Auction has provided funds for the Basque Foundation to help families in need ever since.
This annual event is a great opportunity for the Basque community to support families in need. Most of the funds raised are reserved for a designated beneficiary (or designated beneficiaries) each year. The remaining funds are shared amongst others in need. Our designated recipients for the 2023 auction are Susan Mendiola Jaca and Jill Goodson.
Susan was an Oinkari dancer and donated her time teaching young dancers as well. She has been a volunteer at numerous Euskaldunak events over the years. Susan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2020, and was later declared “cancer free” after treatment. Susan recently received the unfortunate news that the cancer has returned, and she will be enduring another round of treatment. This will impact Susan and her loved ones, including her children Josune, Matea, Maialen, and Elias.
Jill was a Sheepherders recipient in 2020, after she was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. She is married to Phil Goodson, a former bartender at the Basque Center and part of the big Echevarria family. They have two children, Lola (14) and Henry (12). After battling through an initial round of immunotherapy treatment, Jill was informed in July that the cancer had returned. Jill recently had surgery to discover the extent of the cancer and it was discovered that the cancer had spread to her brain and spine. She is currently receiving chemotherapy and immunotherapy, with radiation therapy likely to begin in December.
The treatments to fight these battles will take a physical, emotional, and financial toll on Susan and Jill as well as their families. With your help and support, we can make the 2023 auction as successful as possible to help Susan, Jill, and their families through this difficult year.
Donations are tax deductible and can be made via the following methods:
- Credit card donations may be made online through the following website: https://www.basquecenter.com/donate/
- Drop off a donation at the Basque Center
- Send a check to Basque Foundation, Inc., Attn: Sheepherders Ball, 601 W Grove St, Boise, ID 83702