In case you missed it: the 125th Cheyenne Frontier Days™ just wrapped up and what a celebration it was! Wyoming Hunger Initiative was invited to partner with CFD to raise awareness about food insecurity on the second Saturday—Wyoming Hunger Initiative Day—a huge opportunity on a huge stage! Here our top ten highlights of the experience, in roughly chronological order:
Cowboys Stompin’ Hunger Campaign
Cheyenne Frontier Days™ pledged to donate 100% of the proceeds of the Cowboys Stompin’ Hunger t-shirts for sale all over Frontier Park and online to Wyoming Hunger Initiative, where those funds will be used to combat food insecurity in all 23 of Wyoming’s counties. Spotting those shirts on rodeo fans was a highlight of the week! Some well-known folks helped us get the word out. You can still purchase a shirt online!
Stompin’ Hunger with the Spouses of the General Committee
What a wonderful surprise when the 11 spouses from the Cheyenne Frontier Days™ General Committee (the group of volunteers who manage the logistics of every aspect of the rodeo) showed up to the Thunderbirds reception at the Governor’s Residence on Tuesday wearing their Cowboys Stompin’ Hunger shirts!
First Lady Jennie Gordon, Grand Marshal
As part of Wyoming Hunger Initiative Day, the First Lady was invited to serve as parade Grand Marshal and greet thousands of parade-goers through the streets of downtown Cheyenne as well as in the Grand Entry at the Eighth Rodeo Performance.
An Army of Anti-Hunger Warriors
Wyoming Hunger Initiative staff, Board, Regional Directors, and volunteers followed the Grand Marshal in the parade! A sea of trademark blue brought many waves, good mornings, and smiles. It was many of the extended team’s first visit to Cheyenne for Cheyenne Frontier Days™ and we think it was a fine welcome to town.
It Didn’t Rain On Our Parade
We watched with a small amount of horror all week as the forecast pointed to inclement weather on Saturday morning; we’ve all been around long enough to know that bad weather during CFD can come in many forms, to include tornados, hail, torrential rain, and flooding. Instead, the parade route was dry, cool, and the sun even made an appearance near the end. If there’s one thing to know about Wyoming Hunger Initiative, is that no one associated with this organization shies away from a challenge, but we were happy not to have to navigate the challenge of a rainy parade.
Post-Parade, Pre-Rodeo Lunch
The parade crew and other dedicated volunteers and supporters joined the First Lady for a quick lunch after the parade. Many of the volunteers and anti-hunger warriors have never met their counterparts in other communities, so it was a fabulous opportunity to mix, mingle, and share a meal with the extended team. Everyone’s path to working on reducing hunger in Wyoming is a little different, and hearing some of those stories was a heartwarming experience.
Cowboy Channel Coverage
Between an interview with the First Lady and a broadcast reaching audiences all over the world, Wyoming Hunger Initiative received some major coverage on Saturday. Hunger is too often an invisible problem, and we are committed to changing that. Visibility leads to solutions, and Wyoming Hunger Initiative achieved some serious visibility through this partnership!
Cody Sosebee is one of the top rodeo clowns in the world; see him in action and you’ll know why! He wore his Cowboys Stompin’ Hunger shirt during the rodeo on Saturday, bringing even more visibility to the fight to end hunger in Wyoming. We are grateful for his support, and even though he’s an Arkansas guy by address, we know he’s a Wyoming cowboy at heart.
A Big Shout-Out at the Rodeo
In addition to all the day's festivities, Wyoming Hunger Initiative got a little time on the big screen during the rodeo as well as an announcer's interview with the First Lady. Even if you didn't make it to the arena that day, you can still catch that video here! So much news is shared over on Facebook and Instagram—we invite you to follow both (@firstladywyoming on Facebook; @jennie.gordon2019 on Instagram) so you don't miss a thing.
The Feeling of Gratitude and a Full Heart
At the 123rd Cheyenne Frontier Days™ in 2019, Wyoming Hunger Initiative didn’t exist yet. In the time since then, this organization has committed to ending hunger in Wyoming in constantly changing ways, and so much progress has been made toward that primay goal. We look forward to doing this work as long as it takes. See you at the 126th!