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news News Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 5:58 PM - Monday, June 24, 2019 5:58 PM

Everybody wins at Wyoming Shrine Bowl hospital visit

Annual fundraiser recognized with Philanthropic Society silver medallion

Everybody wins at Wyoming Shrine Bowl hospital visit

No matter who wins the Wyoming Shrine Bowl, everyone wins during the annual trek to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City, where the meaning behind the game is brought to life.

Since the first Wyoming Shrine Bowl game in 1974, the players, coaches, cheerleaders and event organizers have traveled 800 miles round trip between Casper and Salt Lake City to learn more about the charity for which they are playing. The hospital experience aims to set the right tone for the week. Amidst all the hustle and bustle of quickly bonding with a new team, physically demanding practices and recognition banquets, event organizers want the players to walk away with a life-changing experience, not just another win.

“The highlight of the week is the trip that the participants make to the hospital to visit the patients and physically see what the Shrine organization does,” said Frank Selby, Wyoming Shrine Bowl executive director. “The week’s activities are at no cost to the participants, and the profits of the game are sent to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City to benefit the children who are not as fortunate as our participants.”

The hospital experience for Wyoming Shrine Bowl participants includes interaction with patient ambassadors. Patient ambassadors are children who receive care at the hospital and share their story to bring awareness and resources back to the hospital they love. The patient ambassadors helped the players better understand their conditions through interactive activities focusing on adaptive sports, occupational therapy, prosthetics and orthotics, and surgical services. Participants also enjoyed a meal in the hospital’s picturesque central activities room, which gave them the opportunity to interact more with hospital staff and patients.

Thanks to fundraisers like the Wyoming Shrine Bowl, the only requirement for care is that a child has a treatable orthopaedic condition. With the exception of Utah, which comprises the majority of the hospital’s patient population, the hospital staff sees the most children from Wyoming, averaging 300 patients per year. To help meet the need in rural Wyoming and make care even more convenient, the hospital offers telehealth out of Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

The overall impact of this game on the hospital is tremendous, with the cumulative giving to the hospital reaching $709,191 after last year’s game. This has earned the Wyoming Shrine Bowl a silver medallion level recognition in the hospital’s Philanthropic Society, resulting in a plaque of recognition being mounted on the philanthropy wall.

A heartfelt thanks goes out to the entire Wyoming Shrine Bowl organization and all of the people who have come together over the years to help ensure no child is ever turned away due to inability to pay.

Shrine Bowl players with patientShriners, event staff and patients in front of philanthropy wall