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The rains came and the thunder and the lightning and the tornado sightings. The local meteorologist was unable to keep up with all of the warnings.

Still, I insisted that we go. Still, the friend resisted.

I won, and boy, it was awesome.

When Chancey Williams comes to town, frequently it’s for a show that starts at or past my bedtime. And frequently, it’s at a spot where the ol’ deputy/cop refuses to go, even though it’s much more friendly and much safer than it was in the good ol’ days.

David Street Station is the crown jewel of Casper, mostly because everything there is free.

We were there among state legislators, high school football coaches and administrators, retired couples holding hands and families dancing. Beer was sold, and creative folks figured out how to escape the long lines to quaff their thirst.

There was shaved ice in rainbow colors for the kids, who had more fun chasing each other than listening to eight verses of “Friends in Low Places” and “The World Needs More Cowboys,” as well as “Tonight We’re Drinkin’” and “Rodeo Cold Beer.”

We were there as the day faded into night, and the splash pad splashed and people splashed in it. It was a celebration of summer and of friends and it was a blast.

Just five days later, 1,300 friends awoke before light to go to breakfast together. To say it was amazing is a vast understatement.

With Gov. Mark Gordon and First Lady Jennie, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow, Secretary of State Mark Gordon, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso and former Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis in attendance, it was a significant guest list.

They were all there, at six in the morning, to raise money for the thousands of kids served by 10 sites in four counties managed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming. Here’s a number for you — two of every three children in the town of Glenrock use the Boys & Girls Club, either after school, in the summer or on Friday when school is not in session.

The staff at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming is not some swallowing amoeba, overtaking little clubs along the path. Rather, folks in Natrona, Converse, Johnson and Fremont counties understand that the staff in Casper has both the experience and forward-looking motivation to turn clubs — and more importantly the lives of kids — around.

Charlie Powell is the mayor of Casper. He is also is a psychologist.

“This club changes lives,” he said at the breakfast. “We know that kids can turn their lives around with the attention of just one adult. Please write big, fat checks today.”

Whether it was the company of friends, the green chile burritos or the desire to make a difference, folks did just that — to the tune of $1,024,050.

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Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS

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Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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