The Saratoga Sun -

Voices of the Valley becomes more independent


Voices of the Valley made a leap in status this summer after its efforts to bring the interest of North Platte Valley residents to the forefront were recognized by a funder.

VOV, an organization previously funded through the Sonoran Institute, became an independent organization within a matter of weeks.

“I feel like it is a huge pat on the back for the work that people here and the people in the upper North Platte … have worked to get this group off the ground,” said VOV Executive Director KayCee Alameda.

Alameda was the project manager for VOV through the Sonoran Institute, she said. But the funder for Alameda’s position decided to allocate the money directly to VOV.

“I was hired with the Sonoran Institute to be the facilitator and convener of Voices of the Valley and make it more of a formal group,” Alameda said. VOV has since evolved to an independent organization, and has been recognized for its efforts.

VOV has applied to become a non-profit business in Wyoming and plans to submit a federal application for non-profit status at the end of September, Alameda said.

By submitting the application, VOV will be able to accept private funds as a pending 501(c)(3).

“It may be a while before we are actually granted that status, but we can still fundraise in the meantime,” she said.

Although VOV’s mission, to facilitate and strengthen the voice of community members in important matters directly affecting the Upper North Platte Valley, the way the group is organized changed, Alameda said.

“We have gone from a membership type organization to a board of directors with no members, just volunteers and paid staff,” Alameda said.

The board of directors includes Jim States, Judd Campbell, Sue Jones, Heather Schultz, Stan Brooks, Jeff Streeter, Matt Copeland and Joe Elder. Alameda also hired Carol States to be the office manager, because of her experience with applying for non-profit status.

VOV also has a new office located at 116 W. Bridge Street.

“It’s really exciting. It was a huge endorsement to this group,” Alameda said.

Alameda said the transition from an informal group to an independent organization happened within a span of four weeks after VOV members learned the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission was about to pull funds from the Platte Valley Habitat Partnership.

“We had found out about a week before that commission meeting, they were going to take that $500,000 back,” Alameda said. “We started scrambling around and got people to make comments … several people spoke before the commission on behalf of Voices of the Valley and on behalf of Platte Valley Habitat Partnership.”

The testimonies convinced the commission to allocate funds toward the Platte Valley Habitat Partnership, Alameda said.

Simultaneously, the funder for Alameda’s position at the Sonoran Institute recognized their efforts and decided to fund VOV directly, Alameda said.

If you would like to learn more about VOV, call 307-326-3275, or Alameda directly at 307-710-8646. You can also reach VOV by email at or


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