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How a bank, a hotel, and a veteran’s house worked together

Providing a warm meal for veterans was the reason for the collaboration
Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 6:23 PM CST
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FREMONT COUNTY, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

Lander and Riverton community members are partnering to provide a hot meal to those who were formerly in the armed forces. There are many food basket giveaways and charities this time of year, but the Soldier’s House of Fremont County is trying to make sure that this special group of people don’t go without.

Co-founder of the Fremont County Soldier’s House, Jennifer Wilson, stated “That’s what the Soldier’s House is about, volunteers trying to say thank you to our veterans, so this is just one more way that we can do it, especially during this time of year when we can’t gather, to let folks know we’re thinking about them.”

Lori Mohler, administrative assistant at First Interstate Bank in Riverton, spearheaded the effort, calling the Soldier’s House to donate the money needed for the meals.

Mark Evans, First Interstate Bank President of the Riverton and Lander branches emphasized, “The bank as a whole actually, we support veterans totally throughout the whole bank system, so really there’s nobody else better to thank, especially in a year like this, than veterans. They’ve done so much for the community, the state, and for the nation. It’s really important to the bank as well as me personally.”

The bank donated $700 to cover the total cost of the meals, and some of the bank employees have volunteered to help deliver food if needed on Christmas Eve. “We’d love to have our volunteers, they are the backbone of our organization,” added Wilson.

The Soldier’s House is looking for more veterans to give the purchased meals to, and people are encouraged to contact them for a meal even if they feel like someone else is in greater need.

If you need a meal, would like to donate toward a meal, or would like to be a delivery driver on Christmas Eve, contact Jennifer at (307) 349-0945.

“It’s been really tough for us because everything we do is face to face, in person, and we haven’t been able to do that this year, so it feels really good to be able to give back,” said Wilson.

In order to get all those meals for veterans prepared, Holiday Inn of Riverton agreed to cook them in their commercial kitchen. They were approached by Lori from First Interstate Bank of Riverton, and asked if they could supply meals for the veterans.

They happily agreed, as business has been fairly slow for QT’s, the restaurant inside the hotel chain, and they are not serving their Christmas buffet as usual. Holiday Inn provided a substantial discount, to provide the meals at cost for the veterans.

Food and Beverage Director of Holiday Inn Riverton, Jim Brady, said he worked at the Sheridan Holiday Inn, providing meals for the needy in the community, so this is nothing brand new to him, and he’s happy to do it. “The veterans here that are local, they need help and if I can help them in anyway, which is cooking them a good meal, that makes me feel really good,” stated Brady.

Q-T’s restaurant in Holiday Inn will be open on Christmas Eve from 5-8 p.m. for dine in or takeout off their menu.

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