A Grand Tip-off for #HeartsforHunger

Updated: Jan 27


University of Wyoming basketball
University of Wyoming men's basketball team huddles before the game

If you were in Laramie on Saturday night for the basketball game between University of Wyoming and University of New Mexico, you know there was a lot of heart on display! The Pokes once again played their hearts out, improving to a season record of 15-2 in front of a raucous crowd who cheered their hearts out, too.


But these weren't the only hearts being shown in Arena-Auditorium! Wyoming Hunger Initiative teamed up with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming and University of Wyoming Athletics to promote the 2022 #HeartsforHunger campaign. Every $5 heart purchased at the game will be displayed with the donor's name (or the honoree of their choice) at the Wyoming State Capitol through the 2022 legislative session. These small but mighty donations have the power to make a tremendous impact: last year's campaign brought in enough money to fund an unexpected infrastructure grant. We can do so much more together, proving that Wyoming Together isn't just a catchy slogan. It's the Wyoming way!

Wyoming Hunger Initiative logo on University of Wyoming scoreboard
It's always exciting to see your name in the bright lights!

A little behind-the-scenes shout out: we couldn't pull off #HeartsforHunger without our friends at the Laramie County Library System. They provide the use of their Ellison machine, which turns colorful cardstock into displayable hearts, three sheets of paper at a time.

This is what 1,000 pieces of cardstock rectangles look like before they become hearts. Three rectangles at a time goes faster than you might guess, though. We're not complaining—we'd love to cut another 1,000!

The team was set up in two locations inside Arena-Auditorium before the game to sell hearts to fans!

Some of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming team (Hailey Fry, Abbey Palma, CEO and President Diane Gore, Maria Klein) and Trista Ostrom, Chief of Staff to First Lady Jennie Gordon

We loved talking to the fans who stepped up to the table.

First Lady Jennie Gordon
First Lady Jennie Gordon made some sales, too!

Meanwhile... what an exciting basketball game! Wyoming Cowboys fans: if you haven't made it to a game yet this season, don't delay. We love a team with heart!

University of Wyoming forward Graham Ike
6'9" sophomore Graham Ike fights off a pack of Lobos

During the first media timeout, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming President and CEO Diane Gore and First Lady Jennie Gordon were presented with a beautiful piece of commemorative framed art and a custom basketball to mark the game sponsorship and partnership! We are so thankful to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming for sharing their platform to increase awareness about food insecurity in Wyoming.

University of Wyoming basketball

A closer look at that basketball signed by head coach Coach Jeff Linder!

These two were able to chat more about this valuable partnership and awareness about the fight against hunger in Wyoming during a halftime interview. Sales of hearts wrapped up after halftime—we've got just over 700 hearts from Saturday's donations alone to hang at the Capitol this week.

Governor Mark Gordon joined in on the fun, too! The team is always happy to include its number one supporter.

Didn't make the game on Saturday? No worries! Click on the hearts above to purchase your heart for $5. For a $25 donation, not only will we display five hearts with your name, but the First Lady will also send a Valentine to the recipient of your choice. Together, our mighty hearts will continue fighting food insecurity by providing support to food pantries statewide and raising awareness for this very real challenge. Thank you to everyone who partnered to make this event possible, purchased a heart, and spread the word about Wyoming Hunger Initiative!