BONDURANT – Foster Friess, a philanthropist and politician from Jackson, announced a challenge grant of $100,000 to help fund recovery efforts in the community of Hoback Ranches this week. Friess will match every dollar donated to the Roosevelt Fire recovery fund campaign up to $100,000, said Diana Lopez of the Lynn and Foster Friess Family Foundation.
The Roosevelt Fire is the most destructive fire in Wyoming history, destroying 55 homes as it raged through Hoback Ranches in September. Residents face daunting challenges in rebuilding their homes and community infrastructure. The Pinedale Lions Club and the Bondurant Community Club launched the Roosevelt Fire recovery fund campaign to raise money for recovery efforts in October.
Friess frequently donates money to help victims of natural disasters, Lopez said, and “responded instantly” when he heard that his neighbors in the Bondurant area needed help.
Chris Lacinak, a Hoback Ranches resident who helped organize the fire recovery fund, said that Friess’ donation is a “huge step forward” in addressing the financial needs of individuals and communities rebuilding from the fire.
“We are extremely grateful for Mr. Friess’ generosity and excited by the prospect that his challenge grant will increase the level of donations and raise awareness about the disaster,” Lacinak said.
Mindi Crabb, a member of the Pinedale Lions Club who was instrumental in setting up the fire recovery fund, told the Roundup that the news of Friess’ donation was “pretty cool.”
“We are thrilled to hear of Foster’s generous challenge grant,” she said. “This will make a huge difference to our friends in Bondurant and keep the momentum of the fund going. There is a lot of need out there.”
Crabb added that the Roosevelt Fire recovery fund campaign will meet this week to start processing applications for the first round of financial disbursement to families affected by the fire.
People wishing to help can send financial donations to the Lions of Wyoming Foundation at 224 Talon Ct., Cheyenne, Wyo., 82009. Donors are urged to make checks out to “Lions of Wyoming Foundation” and include “Roosevelt Fire” in the memo.