This grandma proves 91 is just the right age to serve her community

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 12:00 AM CST
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RIVERTON, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

While governor Gordon is now calling for our first responders to be honored, one local grandma has beat him to the punch, since March.

When you step inside her residence in Riverton, it might not strike you as anything more than an ordinary kitchen of a 91-year-old grandma. However in March when we were first learning about Covid, it had become a cookie factory, and now every week she’s been baking about eight dozen cookies for first responders.

Ellie Urbigkit is her name, however to many doctors and nurses she’s the Cookie Grandma. When asked of her inspiration for starting such a venture, Ellie said, “I think it’s because I knew I was going to need something to keep from getting bored. Then I got to thinking about these people who were working so hard.”

With the influx of testing and extra protocols for hospital staff to undertake, Ellie wanted to ease their stress a little. She then spoke with her granddaughter who works at Sage West hospital to get the scoop. Ellie wanted to know if the healthcare professionals even got time for a coffee break with their busy schedules. Her granddaughter, Nicci Urbigkit, told her yes every once in awhile but that’s about it. Ellie then pondered, “Would they like some cookies?” According to Ellie, Nicci replied with “Yes, they’d love it!”

Ellie started the cookie project in March, and says it’s mutually beneficial. “They’re going to know they’re thought about, that people care, and I’m going to get the exercise and have three or four hours out of the day taken up so I’m not being bored. Since I love to bake cookies I thought it was a good thing to do, so that’s how I got started,” added Ellie.

When Ellie had to visit the emergency room recently, the doctors and nurses were so excited to meet the Grandma behind the cookies. She then added EMT personnel to the list, because she said they took such good care of her.

Diane Lane, AMR Ambulance Operations Manager for Fremont County noted, “The crews really appreciate it. It makes them feel happy inside in these times. Times are trying right now for everybody, but I think that when we get these little handmade and homemade things that it just shows the crews that the community is there backing them, and that the community does care about them.”

Ellie sees it as a way not only to bless others, but to fill her time as well. She added, “I’ve always enjoyed my friends and my neighbors, and when you’re quarantined you miss that, but if you have something to fill your time with, and it’s helping somebody else, that benefits more than just one person.”

Ellie says her list keeps growing, and she hopes to provide cookies for even more first responders for a long time.

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