July 16, 2012
The Flying W Ranch, which was destroyed in the Waldo Canyon Fire, announced it has set up The Flying W Ranch Foundation to accept donations and volunteers.
More than 22,000 Facebook fans had followed the news as the ranch was impacted by the fire and many had asked if there were plans to rebuild. Others wanted to roll up their sleeves to help clean up after the fire.
“Our hope and intention is to rebuild the Flying W Ranch, however, the safety of our guests and the community of Mountain Shadows takes precedence over baked beans and singing cowboys,” said Aaron Winter of the newly formed Foundation.
Foundation representatives said the ranch owners and staff have been working with local, state and federal governments to ensure that safety measures are in place to prevent further devastation, particularly from erosion and flooding.
In December, Leigh Ann Wolfe, one of the ranch owners, had created a nonprofit foundation to support local organizations within the community. After the fire that hit the ranch on June 26 and burned 346 nearby homes, Wolfe said the foundation will now be involved in charitable pursuits relating either to rebuilding the Flying W Ranch attraction or helping to preserve the history of the Flying W Ranch through artifacts and antiques rescued from the site.
Winter said that although the future of the ranch is still to be determined, plans are to move forward in one way or another.
The ranch had plans to celebrate its 60th anniversary this year.The original Flying W Ranch Celebration and concert with the Sons of the Pioneers, will take place as planned on Aug. 15, at a location to be determined. All proceeds from the concert will also go to The Flying W Ranch Foundation.
According to foundation representatives, the Foundation is awaiting approval of its charitable status, which could take several months. Because approval is pending, donations will only be tax deductible subject to obtaining 501(c)(3) charitable status. Upon approval of the application, all donations will be tax-deductible. Donations will go toward the rebuilding or preservation of the Flying W Ranch including a scholarship fund for the student staff members who worked at the ranch during the summer of 2012.
Those who want to volunteer during the ranch cleanup should fill out the volunteer form on FlyingW.com. Volunteers must be 18 years or older, provide their own hard hats, gloves, boots, safety glasses, masks and will have to sign a release from liability.
Donations are being taken online as well as at any US Bank location. Designate the Flying W Ranch Foundation.
For more information on the Foundation, to donate or purchase event tickets, go to www.FlyingW.com.