PVCC Mead and greet


Max Miller

Governor Mead, third from right, made sure to chat with area high schoolers on his valley visit. From left, valedictorians Karie Russell, Cassidy Little and Guy Erickson of Encampment and Cruz Escobedo and Aaron Kerbs from Saratoga.

The gubernatorial jet touched down at Shively Field Wednesday morning, April 20. Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, was in town last week to eat lunch with a group of donors to the Platte Valley Community Center (PVCC) and high school students from Saratoga and Encampment.

The luncheon was the culmination of a charity auction to support PVCC that took place in September of 2015. At that auction, Joe and Lana Elder, Jesse and Sue Portillo and Johnny and Pam Portillo pooled $2,100 to win a lunch with the governor. The philanthropists decided that the event would present an excellent opportunity for civically-minded high school students, and got permission to invite the teens as well.

As valedictorians, Guy Erickson, Cassidy Little and Karie Russell, of Encampment High School, were invited to represent their school. From Saratoga High School, social studies teacher Jason Williams recommended outstanding students Cruz Escobedo and Aaron Kerbs get the honor of breaking bread with the governor.

Mead arrived with two aides and dined with the group for over an hour at the community center. With Mead's busy schedule, it took some back-and-forth to arrange the luncheon, but the event was, by all accounts, a big success.

Scott and Michelle McIlvaine catered the meal, and classical music provided a calming backdrop in the community center as the invitees dined. Halfway through the lunch, Governor Mead switched sides of the table, giving the high-schoolers a chance to bend his ear before he departed the Valley.

Mead complimented the food and agreed to auction off his company to the community center again next year. The auction for that luncheon will be held in September.


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