Sagebrush and Roses brings the elegance

Rhett Breedlove/Torrington Telegram Curtains, lights, tables and decorations beautifully furnish the Goshen County Rendezvous Center Saturday for Eastern Wyoming College’s formal fundraising event, Sagebrush and Roses.

‘It’s the highlight of the year’

TORRINGTON – With brutal sub-zero temperatures subsiding for the time being, a calm winter sundown with moon and starlit skies seemed perfect for residents to get out and dance off some steam for an evening of great food, drinks and music at the Goshen County Rendezvous Center Saturday night.

The evening marked none other than Eastern Wyoming College’s cherished and elegant annual fundraising event, Sagebrush and Roses.

With the intent of raising much needed support for the ever-growing agriculture programs at Eastern Wyoming College, waves of county residents filled up the center dressed in their very best for one enjoyable and memorable night.

While staying faithful to authentic Wyoming culture, it would be appropriate to say that when it comes to a night of formal class, the college knows exactly how to stylishly pull it off thanks to college Foundation Director, Lisa Johnson.

“It’s the highlight of the year,” Johnson said. “Not only did people show up in full force to support EWC agriculture, but EWC in general. They had the opportunity to meet thirty of the best and brightest students, and interact with them for a very delightful evening.

“It was the first time that I really had been involved with planning the event,” Johnson continued. “All of the details and hard work that went into making it such a special evening was really rewarding and humbling, because it takes so many community volunteers. The amount of people that were involved was a highlight. Just the strong support along with so many auction items, it was just a fun evening that people really got engaged with.”

According to Johnson, an estimated 350 community members were able to attend the event. By the end of the evening, Sagebrush and Roses was able to raise a total amount of roughly $60,000 in support of college programs.

Johnson noted further although any sort of event-planning has its difficulties, the heavy participation among community members along with college staff and students made the entire process so much more easy and enjoyable.

“As far as the details in pulling off an elegant evening, there’s just a lot of work that goes into it,” Johnson continued. “There were so many people that helped from college faculty, staff and students to community volunteers that helped us get ready. I just have to give them a lot of appreciation.”

The foundation director made it a noteworthy point to bring up one specific community couple and longtime confidants of the college, Rick and Nancy Vonburg. 

“If Sagebrush and Roses crowned a king and queen, it would be Rick and Nancy,” Johnson stated. “They poured their heart and soul into EWC, and they had two tables of family and friends come. Not only did they put a lot of volunteer work in, but they also sponsored the band as well. I would say this was a huge success.”

Providing the musical entertainment for the night was established Northwest country-rock musician, Nate Botsford. It should be noted Botsford has performed alongside other known and deep-rooted acts such as LoCash, Old Dominion and Brett Young.

The dancefloor never emptied throughout the night while being described as, “hopping all night long.”

“The funds that were raised by Sagebrush and Roses go towards scholarships for ag students and other needs as far as our competitive teams,” Johnson added. “Out front EWC has a brand-new cargo tailer that we paid for from the funds, and it will be used by the competitive teams to help with luggage and equipment. So, we will be very excited to see that Lancer trailer going down the road in support of our college as well. Our foundation believes that supporting the competitive teams and athletics will help drive enrollment at EWC.”

With Saturday evening proving to be a top-notch success for both the college and the community, Johnson is already in the works of planning the next big event for the upcoming spring.

“It was such a big year event and a very large undertaking, but the next event is going to be on March 7,” Johnson concluded. “Scholarship donors will be having dinner with recipients, so it will be a scholarship donor appreciation dinner. We will be getting more details out on that, so everyone should save that date.”

If you would like more information or have further questions on future EWC events or activities, feel free to call 307-532-8200.


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