When the people at Beef Bucks, Inc. were notified that their pre-paid debit card for purchasing beef will again be featured as a gift tag on the Wheel of Fortune – this time during the popular game show’s “Salute to Military Families” week in November – they decided to do their part to salute veterans closer to home.
For the second year in a row, television viewers across the U.S. will tune in to see whether or not a Wheel of Fortune contestant is lucky enough to spin the wheel and land on the prize consisting of $1,000 in Beef Bucks. This year, those dates will be Nov. 13 and 15, and again on Dec. 18 and 20. To celebrate its return to the nation’s longest-running syndicated television show, the non-profit organization of beef-promoting volunteers will donate Beef Bucks to assist homeless veterans.
“We are so excited to be asked back on the Wheel of Fortune,” says Beef Bucks’ Executive Secretary Nancy Montross. “Knowing Beef Bucks will be featured during the program’s Salute To Military Families week in November makes it even more special, and we wanted to give something back to veterans who have given so much. This seemed a perfect way to say ‘thank you’ to veterans in our region who have fallen on difficult times.”
The organization will donate $25 worth of Beef Bucks to 10 different veterans and their families who are being assisted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Supportive Housing Program. The program is a joint effort between the VA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to move veterans and their families out of homelessness and into rental housing. HUD provides housing assistance while the VA provides the veterans with clinical and supportive services. The Beef Bucks will be a type of house-warming gift, Montross says, and will be distributed through the VA Black Hills Health Care System around Veterans Day, Nov. 11. They can be used by the veterans to purchase beef either at grocery stores or restaurants.
It is one more milestone for this organization created to promote beef. In 2011, the announcement that Beef Bucks had been selected as a gift tag on Wheel of Fortune created quite a stir. In fact, Bob Montross, the DeSmet, SD, cattle producer who is Beef Bucks’ treasurer and Nancy’s husband, says one reason the beef-buying debit card was asked back to the Wheel of Fortune was because of all the publicity created when Beef Bucks hit the big time last year.
“They said the Wheel of Fortune producer was blown away with all of the publicity we received across the country,” says Bob, who has a reputation for promoting beef and Beef Bucks every chance he gets. “They were very impressed. They wanted us back on the program.” Over the three programs last winter in which Beef Bucks were featured as a gift tag, two contestants walked away with the $1,000 in Beef Bucks’ prize.
Beef Bucks, Inc. was organized in 1997 and is run by an all-volunteer board of beef producers and consumers. There have been well over $1 million of the beef-only checks and reloadable VISA® debit cards sold, Nancy says. The Beef Bucks are backed by two financial institutions and have been used in more than 40 states. She says sales of Beef Bucks jumped after last year’s publicity surrounding its appearance on Wheel of Fortune. Additional information about Beef Bucks is available at www.beefbucks.org, or by calling 1-888-640-MEAT.