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Columbus rancher determined Anthony's Steakhouse steer would stay in Nebraska: 'It all went to a good cause'

'You'd be surprised the Omaha cars that come here and they want to touch it one more time'
Posted at 6:59 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 19:59:48-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On June 27th, about five months after the announcement Anthony's Steakhouse would close, 1,200 lots were sold in an online auction. The most intriguing was a 10' x 20' black Angus steer, which spent decades atop the restaurant at 72nd and F.

"It's been in my life for, aw, geez, 48 years," said Anthony's owner, Tony Fucinaro. "My dad started it in '67 and then I joined him after school and been here ever since."

When the auction closed, the winning bid belonged to Columbus native Bill Lehr.

"I'm kind of an oddball once in a while. I like something nobody else would consider," he said.

The steer was moved 88 miles from Omaha to Lehr's business, T-Bone Truck Stop in Columbus, and that's where it sits today. Which some people have already figured out.

"You'd be surprised the Omaha cars that come here and they want to touch it one more time," Lehr said.

Maintaining that connection is important to him.

Reflecting on the auction, Lehr said, "Once you got the challenge of, 'Oh, it's gonna go to Las Vegas.' and, somebody from Oklahoma was bidding on it. That builds up your courage to go ahead and do something stupid and pay more than it should be. But it all went to a good cause."

Lehr paid $45,000 for the steer. Fucinaro donated the money to Scare Away Cancer, which helps ease financial burdens for local families. His son is a co-founder of the organization.

It's something Lehr also cares deeply about.

"My boy has (cancer)," he said. "Hopefully, he'll get rid of it. And I lost my brother (to leukemia) when he was 34."

Lehr already had two large, attention-grabbing boots in front of T-Bone Truck Stop. In adding the steer, he plans to encourage passersby "Let's Give Cancer The Boot!"

Interested in driving to see the steer? T-Bone Truck Stop is located at 4018 S 9th Street, Columbus, NE.

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