FORT WORTH — Jeneva Moreno, a 16-year-old Alvarado High School livestock exhibitor, broke out the right line for a group of businesswomen who met this weekend to launch a major fundraising campaign ahead of the 2014 Fort Worth Stock Show.“We cannot express to you how meaningful this is,” she said.Commence the opening of checkbooks. Earlier this year, the business group — calling itself Women Steering Business — raised $45,000 in just four weeks and bought a steer from a girl exhibitor at the 2013 Stock Show Junior Sale of Champions in February.Now the group is setting its sights at $100,000 for the 2014 sale, an annual alcohol-soaked auction of champion steers, goats, hogs and lambs raised by youth.“I think we’re going to go over $100,000,” said Becky Renfro Borbolla, vice president of Renfro Foods in Fort Worth and president of Women Steering Business.Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a member of the group, declared at a kickoff party this weekend at a Burleson ranch that “the Women Steering Business are gonna rock the place!” at the 2014 sale.Price said she thinks it’s very likely the group will eventually compete to buy the grand champion or reserve champion steer at the auction.For the 2014 event, Borbolla said the group wants to split its money among several young women exhibitors.“These are our future businesswomen,” she said.Several nonprofit groups raise money annually to buy animals at premium prices at the auction, led by the Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate. The 2013 sale brought in $3.126 million, with $205,000 going to the top steer and $105,000 to the reserve champion.Borbolla, whose husband Henry is a Syndicate member, sent out an email about the fundraising idea to the women in her address list ahead of this year’s Stock Show and garnered immediate response. Ultimately, 75 women signed on for the first year’s campaign, and the group has evolved into a solid networking opportunity, Borbolla said.“ I was blown away,” she said.Annual membership in the group costs a minimum $500. It has also scheduled a celebrity bartending fundraiser Oct. 29 at the Grace restaurant downtown, and a cocktail reception Jan. 7.
Scott Nishimura, (817) 390-7808 Twitter: @JScottNishimura