On September 11, 2021 gather in a small community East of Cheyenne roughly 150 people gathered in the old High School gym of in Burns, Wyoming, The newly formed Burns Lions Club hosted a 9/11 memorial event to recognize the 20th anniversary of the historic, devastating event and bring the surrounding citizens together. Just outside this building in a picturesque park is a 3 foot piece of iron from the Twin Towers in New York City. The town of Burns gained this small section of American history in 2011. Now the monument is the center of a perfectly manicured park and water feature so that we may never forget. The night was filled with bingo, raffles, food, and conversation, and stories of where neighbors where on this day 20 years ago. The event was also significant as it was a fundraiser for the local fire department and EMS crews who proudly protect 2300 people living in an area of 289 square miles.

United Way of Laramie County is honored to have partnered with the Burns Lions Club for the occasion to also award four people with ½ hog and a freezer full of pork. Thanks to a very generous donation from AA Livestock, The Burns Lions Club, United Way, and many supporters were able to sell over 1700 tickets all over Laramie County. The money raised from the raffle tickets will help fund Laramie County Fire Department #6, Burns Lions Club, and United Way of Laramie County.

In June of 2021, AA Livestock offered 2 of their hogs to be used in a way that would benefit the community. At the same time, United Way of Laramie County hired a new Executive Director, Vernon Dobelmann. Right away Vernon was interested in strengthening the connection between United Way and Eastern Laramie County. As luck would have it, Vernon and Community Schools Resource Coordinator, Shelly Bybee met Kayla Madler, the same week. Madler is not only the President of the Burns Lion’s Club, but also a small business owner in the town of Burns, Wyoming, which is situated 31 miles East of Cheyenne. The Burns Lions Club had already set in motion plans to hold an event in Burns on September 11th to honor the 20th anniversary and create a fundraiser for local emergency responders. The pieces fell into place quickly to leverage the 2 donated hogs into a raffle that would benefit all 3 non-profit organizations. We are proud to announce the raffle raised over $6,000. The raffle was designed to grant a 1/2 hog not only the buyer, but also the seller of the winning tickets. For the last event of the evening 2 tickets where drawn from a gleaming gold tumbler. The first ticket drawn had the winning name of Nick Matz, who purchased the ticket from Trevor Madler. The second ticket had the winning name of Cindi Hooper, who purchased the ticket from Janet Lewis. These four lucky winners will get to choose their cuts of meat before the hogs head to a professional, local meat processer.

We would once again like to publicly thank Mark and Martha Avery for their contribution. The Avery’s have been gracious and humble about their gift and been amazing to work with. They have been breeding hogs since 2017. They currently have over 40 pigs at this time. The Avery’s livestock company is located in the Burns area and often has it’s hogs sold as piglets to local youth in 4H and Future Farmers Of America (FFA). The youth who raise the hogs primarily show them in competitions like County and State Fair. The prize money and sale of the hogs is then frequently used to help fund the youth’s college career. The hogs are a great way to teach Laramie County kids about responsibility, organization, ethics, teamwork, and the power of hard work. The hogs originating from the Avery’s can regularly been seen winning 1st in Class-Champion Market Pigs, and Grand Champions at shows.

We want to thank everyone who sold and purchased tickets, everyone who came out to the 9/11 event in Burns, and all who had a hand in growing the relationship between United Way of Laramie County and the amazing people who call Eastern Laramie County home.