WHEATLAND – A cup of coffee here and a cup of coffee there in Platte County yielded a great bounty in the weeklong “Brewing for a cause” which was set up by local business woman Becky Hilty who owns Western Coffee Co. in Wheatland.
“It is with a grateful heart to express to Platte County that this year we received almost $15,000 in donations for the Brewing for a Cause,” Hilty said. “This year we exceeded last year by almost $3,000 in funds and made many more drinks than last year. After each day, staff would go home tired, yet filled with joy knowing that they were helping contribute to such great causes right here in Platte County and the State of Wyoming.”
According to Hilty, this year things did seem to run smoother than the previous year after learning from and learning how to do things bigger and better.
“This year we also had better machines to help manage the flow better and excellent staff that have been trained to handle heavy traffic through the hut,” Hilty said. “We are looking forward to doing it again next year.
“We realize that once again we could not do it without businesses like:
Young Guns Construction, CH Brown Co. Wyo, LLC, Premier Title, Woolington Agency, Wheatland Automotive, Carquest Cheyenne, Rawlins Auto Parts, The Tire Shop, Western Building Supply, Drube Supply, First State Bank, The Platte County Record Times, KYCN-AM/FM & KZEW-FM, Bruce and Emily Hilty, The Wheatland Theater Cinema West, Phylis Gapter, Aaron Madson and Lisa Cochran, Alan and Stephani Madson and Lee and Judy Miller.
“Without our patrons and these fantastic businesses, we would not have been able to pull off yet another successful year.”
Hilty’s motto, “Western Coffee Co., where coffee and community come together,” has rung true and has been a blessing for so many people in need. It also gives the community a sense of accomplishment to be able to help our own neighbors who are struggling with an illness.
The actual event was May 2-7.
Hilty said, “Last year was our first year doing it and I was approached by the Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative which took place of the Susan G. Komen which left Wyoming. They (WBCI) do several things including several runs throughout Wyoming and then they do this weekend thing that is called ‘cups 4 cups,’ and it’s encouraged to be promoted through drink places. Basically, they are asking for a donation per cup of what you sell for two days.”
According to Hilty, WBCI started up because there was such a great need.
“They actually not planning on doing this until June of this year,” Hilty said. “I asked them if I could do it ahead of time and send them the money and they said, ‘yeah.’”
The Susan G. Komen for the cure which is a breast cancer organization known nationally which focuses on patient navigation and advocacy.
“Wyoming ranks actually like 49th in women taking care of themselves for breast cancer ,” Hilty said. “During our fundraiser which lasts a weeklong, what it is basically is that for those two days, May 6-7, I support them (WBCI) and the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we do things here in Platte County for cancer.”
On Monday donations from all drinks sold went to toward the Mary Von Forell Fund. Von Forell died of cancer several years ago but according to Hilty, before her death, she wanted to set up a fund for people and the ways to give back as the community had given to her. She set up a fund where the hospitals and doctors offices. There are gas cards given out for cancer patients so they can travel back and forth to Cheyenne.
The second one that Brewing for a cause supported this year was the Greg Barton Scholarship Fund and those donations were received Tuesday, May 3.
“Greg died of cancer, and his wife gives a scholarship for continuing education to a high school senior,” Hilty said. “Normally she gives out one to two scholarships, but last year because of the drive we did last year for this, she was able to give out six scholarships, so that was pretty incredible.”
These funds are all collected in honor of those who had died of cancer.
The third person honored this year was Dallin Gunter who died of cancer as just a child. Funds were received May 4, and a fund was set up at Platte Valley Bank in the name of the Dallin Gunter Pay It Forward Fund. Gunter was a hug Starwars fan and so Hilty knew it was appropriate to raise funds for “May the 4th (be with you).”
“We’re coming into partnership with Dallin Gunter,” Hilty said. “Dallin was a little boy who died of cancer in 2014 and this would have been his senior year at Wheatland High School. We are partnering with them to create kind of like a “Make-A-Wish” but exclusively for Platte County.”
On May 5 the fourth recipient of Brewing For A Cause was local businesswoman and former barrister for Western Coffee, Jane Bungar. Bungar worked for Western Coffee approximately eight months before her diagnosis and due to her health, she had to take a medical leave of absence. Funds are going to help her medical expenses. A fund is set up for Bungar at First State Bank.
The weekend of Brewing For A Cause was designated to help support Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative.
“They help with women that cannot afford to get mammograms or need supplies and reconstructive surgery,” Hilty said. “They also help with transportation, housing. All of these families still live here in Platte County and are a vital part of our county, known by so many people.”
This is solely put on by Western Coffee and came from a dream that Hilty had to find another way to help the community.