(Hudson, WY) – Following the tragic loss of Watts family home in a devastating fire on January 12, the Fremont County community has once again stepped up to help one of their own.
The Lander Elks Lodge presented the Watts family with three checks from various Elks Lodge groups totalling over $10,000 on Saturday, January 28, in what Dusty and K.La Watts said was a “totally unexpected” gesture.
The Wyoming Elks Charitable Trust contributed $10,000 to the donation, while the Torrington Elks Lodge gave $500, and $1,060 was collected at a state Elks convention in Riverton two weeks ago.
“It was definitely unexpected,” Dusty told County 10 on Saturday, with K.La commenting that the money will be “a really big help to get us back on our feet.”
“So many people in this community have helped us out,” Dusty stated. “It’s absolutely amazing. We never asked for anything and people have helped us in every way that they could. It’s unreal.”
Lander Elks Lodge member Kevin Green said that helping fellow community members in their times of need is what the Elks Lodge is all about, and that it was a “perfect storm” of getting monetary contributions since the state convention was held in Riverton right around the same time as the fire.
“That’s about 150 Elks from around the state coming together,” Green stated, and when they all found out about the loss of the Watts family home the Elks combined forces and said, “Let’s raise as much money as we can while we’re all here.”
“We can’t believe what they must be feeling” Green added. “We want to make sure they get a good start.”
Currently the family is living in a rental and are “pretty set” in terms of immediate needs as they make plans to build a new home, K.La went on to say, but donations like these will help them get back to some sense of normal even quicker.
“We are grateful to be in the community that we’re in,” K.La added, and shared that in addition to wanting to thank “their rocks” (Ty and Shyla Nicholas and the Velarde family), they also wanted to give a shout out to everybody who has helped even in the smallest of ways.