Goshen Co. Cattlewomen to raise funds for Cottonwood, SD, fire victims and Goshen Co. Backpack Food Program | TSLN.com

Goshen Co. Cattlewomen to raise funds for Cottonwood, SD, fire victims and Goshen Co. Backpack Food Program

Members of Goshen County Cattlewomen can relate to the recovery in Cottonwood, South Dakota. A large area of pastures, fences, hay supply and animals in Prairie Center, Wyoming, were scorched earlier this summer. Photo courtesy of Erin Hager

Those who have lost the most sometimes have the most to give.

Members of the Goshen County (Wyoming) Cattlewomen, some of whom were victims of the Prairie Center fire this past summer, want to help ease the pain of Cottonwood, South Dakota, ranchers and farmers who suffered loss in an October fire.

The help will come in the form of a donation resulting from a silent auction the group is planning in conjunction with their annual Christmas party to be held Dec. 9 at The Bucking Horse Steak House and Lounge in Torrington, Wyoming.

The event, kicking off at 6:30 p.m., will feature a silent auction to benefit The South Dakota Cottonwood Fire Relief Fund and The Goshen County Backpack Food Program.

“The fire hit close to home. We live at Prairie Center, [Wyoming], and were hit with a big fire this summer. ...people have been so gracious to victims of fire. We helped with the blizzard that hit in 2013; we donated to help them at that time, so we felt it was a cause close to our program.” Erin Hager, event organizer

In place of a formal dinner, event-appropriate hors d'oeuvres will include beef sliders, roast beef crostinis, and steak skewers along with a farmer's market spread. The event is primarily geared toward Goshen County Cattlewomen and Wyoming Stock Growers members though others are welcome. Tickets are $15 per person. Please RSVP to Erin Hager at ehager44@gmail.com or 307-532-2025.

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Auction items are donated and made by Goshen County Cattlewomen, but Hager said outside items would be welcomed.

"What we have asked is that members of Goshen County Cattlewomen bring items to the silent auction. Items range from antiques that were found locally at estate auctions and a few cool pieces with Goshen County history to most of the other things that are handmade or crafted," she said. "We didn't want to go around and solicit items, but if someone had an item they wanted to donate to the silent auction, absolutely we would take it."

To donate any item, contact Hager.

The group chose to support the Cottonwood Fire Relief Fund because they can relate to South Dakota's situation and recovery.

"The fire hit close to home. We live at Prairie Center, [Wyoming], and were hit with a big fire this summer. The Ochsners were hit as well," Hager said. "People have been so gracious to victims of fire. We helped with the blizzard that hit in 2013; we donated to help them at that time, so we felt it was a cause close to our program."

"Philip Charities is very grateful for the generosity of each individual who contributed to the Cottonwood Fire Relief Fund. Monetary gifts will help those impacted, and all the volunteer work has made a major difference," said Dillon Kjerstad, president of Philip Charities, a 501(c)(3) that is holding funds until a separately appointed committee can disburse funds. "We have seen a multitude of giving whether it was through the BBQ in Philip, the fencing crews or hay donations and hauling. We would like to thank everyone for their efforts to make a positive impact."

Direct monetary donations may be made to Cottonwood Fire Relief Fund at First National Banks.

The Goshen County Cattlewomen chose to also benefit the Goshen County Backpack Program because it was important to help locally as well, Hager said. They wanted to include beef in backpacks, but regulations restricted them. They will, instead, offer a monetary donation.

"The Goshen County Backpack Program provides nearly 400 backpacks through the Goshen County Schools each week that are filled with food that can safely and easily be prepared by children," Hager said. "It is astonishing how many kids in this rural county may go through the weekend hungry, just waiting for their next meal from school. This touches our group; we are in the industry of providing beef and food to the world, and we felt this was a worthy cause to give back to."

The Christmas party is a long-standing tradition that used to be a formal ball.

"It was quite a to-do for many, many years," Hager said."We have tried to have a charity event or fundraiser each year. It's the season of giving back, and we have tried to champion some sort of event with our Christmas program. It's important to give back."

Goshen County Cattlewomen Christmas Party

December 9, 6:30 p.m.

Bucking Horse Steak House and Lounge

Torrington, Wyoming

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