$25,000 Match Challenge open through January 15

Carol and Sam Mavrakis of The Seidler Foundation offer dollar-for-dollar match on all gifts and 2:1 for for all first time and new monthly gifts. Help make the match here >>

The inspiration to build a better community is not an overnight epiphany; it is a single seed that blossoms only after it has taken root deep in the open plains and rolling hills that surround our beautiful Bighorns. And that is exactly what is happening at Big Horn Middle School, where inspiration is a seed carefully cultivated through community service.

For the past three years, many middle schoolers have helped at Red Grade Trails and Hidden Hoot Trail. They have cleared brush, tamped tread, laid gravel, pulled weeds – they have even built bridges! And while the work was not always easy, the kids said they took great pride in what they had accomplished.

“It’s something you know you’ve done that gives back to others,” said Jhett West, an eighth grader who has worked at both trail systems. “It was hard work, but it was fun. And it gives you a good feeling.”

Stacey Hendrickson, a freshman, said she spends a lot of time hiking Red Grade Trails with her friends and brother. Clearing brush at Red Grade Trails was “hard work, but it was fun to do something for the community and to give back.”

Alisha Nielsen, another eighth grader, agreed, “It was a lot of fun.” She has already taken the long view. “It feels good giving back knowing that I can go back there as an adult and say to my kids, ‘I helped build this.’”

That is exactly the inspiration Susie Mohrmann, an instructor at Big Horn who has organized student workdays with SCLT, said the school’s expansive community service program seeks to seed. She noted the SCLT projects, in particular, “get the kids out on the trails and shows them what’s outside close to their homes.”

Photo courtesy Matt Gaston, The Sheridan Press

And that is exactly the kind of inspiration you seed with your generosity. Our community is made better today, tomorrow and for years to come because of friends like you.

Community friends create new opportunities for more people to hike, bike and ride horses as we build up to 22 more miles at Red Grade Trails. They allow more people to go from their front doors to the outdoors easier than ever before as Kicking Horse Trail completes the loop at the Soldier Ridge Trail System. They ensure wildlife habitat, clean water, working lands, open spaces and unbroken views of the Bighorns continue to be conserved. They share the stories of Sheridan County’s special history as we develop new audio, walking and virtual tours accessible to all. And they connect children to nature through programs like Unplug and Young Explorers, and teach new skills at the field days, workshops and clinics we make available to everyone in and around Sheridan County each year.

Our generous friends, Carol and Sam Mavrakis of The Seidler Foundation, have committed $25,000 to match all holiday gifts received by January 15 dollar for dollar. Because they know bigger blooms grow from regular care and when more seeds are sown, they will match all sustaining monthly gifts and all first-time gifts 2:1.

But none of that is possible without kind people who care. Because of community friends, the seeds will be sown for another generation to continue your great work of building a better community – the blossom of inspiration rooted deep. Thank you for all you do and have a great holiday season.

Help make the match today by visiting our donation page here >>

Chris Vrba$25,000 Match Challenge open through January 15