Casper Charity

“Radio Rick” Darcy jokes with guests during a Thankful Thursdays charity auction Nov. 13, 2014, at the Beacon Club in Mills. Supporters raised over $10,000 for American Legion Post No. 2 that night, and Thankful Thursdays have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charities since 2011.

File, Star-Tribune

Casper was rated the “most giving” city in the United States by the vacation website Travelocity last week.

“More than just Stetson hats and the Gateway to the Tetons ... Casper is the most charitable city in the nation,” the company wrote.

While Travelocity cited Casper’s annual fundraiser for the Wyoming Special Olympics, the company’s methodology for determining the most charitable cities was based entirely on social media.

The travel website ranked cities by searching Twitter hashtags #charity, #donate and #volunteer and determining which locations had the highest per capita usage of those terms.

The list of 25 cities accompanied a pitch for visiting the towns on readers’ next vacation: “When planning your next vacation, consider these like-minded charitable cities and maybe even lend a helping hand when you’re in town.”

In the write-up about Casper, Downtown Development Authority CEO Kevin Hawley said the city had a long history of charitable giving.

“We take a great deal of pride in our community and our way of life in Casper and in Wyoming,” Hawley said. “The generosity of the Casper community never ceases to amaze and makes me extremely proud to call Casper home.”

Hawley’s DDA has been the recipient of millions of dollars in charitable giving toward its downtown plaza project. The plaza broke ground in late October after raising the $1.6 million needed to complete the first phase of the project.

The agency announced two substantial gifts toward the second phase of the project in October. Hilltop National Bank contributed $500,000 toward the splash pad that will be built on the plaza, and the Cercy family donated $1 million to the project.

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