WRCA Foundation Year End Wrap-Up

As most folks in the ranching world know, 2017 was a year of tragedy for a huge swath of the Great Plains cow country. Devastating fires raged in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Montana, and Nevada. Somewhere near 2 million acres were burned and untold cattle were lost. While the record wildfires laid waste to prime ranching country, the cowboy community stepped up in a record way. The Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation experienced record donations to their Wildfire Relief Fund, and in turn, distributed record amounts across the country to qualifying cowboys and ranchers.

And of course, the ability to help cowboys and ranchers in need was due to the generosity of not only the cowboy community but from everyone who was committed to helping preserve Western Heritage with their contributions to the Foundation. In short, YOU made the work the Foundation did in 2017 possible. Through donating directly to the Foundation, participating in fundraisers at the World Championship Ranch Rodeo and elsewhere, and even buying a ticket to the show—those dollars ultimately went toward assuaging the hardships faced by today’s working cowboy.

While the fires put the WRCF on the map as the most versatile, national charitable organization in cowboydom, the needs didn’t stop there.

“The fire was visible, but there were so many situations that aren’t visible that need help just as much,” says Leman Wall, manager of the Working Ranch Cowboys Association.

From ailing ranch kids and lost fingers to broken collarbones and tragic deaths, the Foundation stepped in to offer assistance to the ranching and cowboy community whenever and wherever they needed it.

“We’re here to make a difference,” says Kaycee Hooper, WRCF Manager.

Whether it was large-scale tragedy or the everyday perils of ranching, the Foundation did make a difference in 2017 in ways it has never been able to before. Not only that, the Foundation also awarded 42 college scholarships to youngsters across the West. (Look for more news on the exciting and expanding scholarship programs in 2018).

Reata Collins Receives WRCA Foundation Scholarship

Pictured from left: Ken Collins, Foundation scholarship recipient Reata Collins, Marvelle Collins, Kaycee Hooper

Neither Wall nor Hooper nor the rest of the WRCF board can look back at 2017 without immediately worrying about 2018. What tragedies will befall the ranching community at large? Are droughts and fires on the horizon? Blizzards? Floods? Who will suffer accidents and need assistance? Will we have the funds to help them?

As always, the Foundation will rely on the generosity of others to assist in their mission of helping the working cowboy and rancher in times of need. So, if you helped in 2017, thank you. If you didn’t, it’s not too late! And either way, your help will be needed again in 2018, so we humbly ask for you to consider the Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation as you plan your charitable giving so they can continue to give “A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out.”