Over the last few months, as Colorado became a battleground for oil and gas politics, several oil and gas companies operating in the resource-rich Denver-Julesburg Basin chose to set aside the political tumult in favor of supporting those in need in their communities.
When Colorado Make-a-Wish employee Stacie Winslow found herself with 13 wishes to be granted in the state’s DJ Basin, she began her search by placing a call to a Make-a-Wish Colorado board member. That board member just happened to work for Colorado-based Great Western Oil & Gas Company. As it happens, that single phone call was all it took to get every wish on Winslow’s list sponsored.
When he got wind of the initiative, Great Western President and CEO Rich Frommer declared that the company (http://colorado.wish.org/news-and-events/wish-blog/blog-posts/weld-county-wishes), “would match employee giving AND seed the first three wishes with $2,500 each.” From there, Great Western’s employees dug deep, donating thousands to the effort.
Great Western also drafted their colleagues into service. Ultimately, more than half a dozen companies including Baker Hughes, Precision Drilling, Halliburton, and Liberty Oilfield Services leant money to help grant wishes to those kids living in the DJ Basin.
When all was said and done, all thirteen wishes were granted with lightning speed. The donations totaled $130,000. In practical terms, Great Western Oil & Gas Company and their allies in the extraction industry paid for a meeting with soccer legend Christiano Ronaldo, two cruises, a LEGOLAND voyage, a Hawaiian beach trip, an Australian excursion, tickets to VidCon London, and six dream vacations to Disney World.
The entire campaign was carried out without the hope of positive publicity or reward; in fact, when the news came to light, it’s because Winslow wanted to call out the generosity of these dedicated Coloradans.
“Sometimes it seems the oil and gas industry gets a bad rap here in Colorado,” Winslow wrote. “I can tell you, I have never worked with a more compassionate, giving and engaged group of people in my years of fundraising. This campaign of giving was important to them.”