WOLF — A record number of participants at the 10th Wolf Creek Wrangle run at Eatons’ Ranch will contribute directly to the home of Edie Anderson and her children built by Habitat for Humanity of the Eastern Bighorns. Other future homeowners putting in equity hours saw the commitment of the community’s willingness to help.
The Wolf Creek Wrangle includes a trio of foot races, and proceeds go directly toward chosen Habitat homeowners for the upcoming build year.
Sage Schultz submitted an application for a home this year after strong suggesting from her grandmother. A single mother of two children 3 years old and younger, Schultz was in desperate need of something new in her life.
“It’s a good way to get involved in the community, so I just gave it a shot to see if I’d get in,” Schultz said. “I really didn’t think I’d get in because there are people worse off than me.”
The young mother met with Habitat for Humanity representatives the day before the race to establish next steps for her future home, and she will meet with the contractor in the next couple weeks to start making physical plans for the project.
Putting in her first set of “equity hours” at the Wolf Creek Wrangle helped Schultz realize the community’s willingness to supporting the cause of low-price housing.
“It’s crazy that so many people are willing to help build me and my kids a house,” Schultz said. “It’s nice to know that there are honest, hard-working people out there.”
The process is simple. Those wishing to apply for a Habitat for Humanity home must complete an application form that establishes need, ability to repay a loan and a willingness to partner with the program by contributing equity hours.
Equity hours are put in by future Habitat homeowners to prove ownership and partnership in the program.
Christine Dieterich was in Schultz’ position a few years ago. Her connection with the Wolf Creek Wrangle is threefold: she has been the executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Sheridan for three years; she has participated in both the 10K and half marathon races; and she first became involved with the organization when she was chosen to be a homeowner several years ago. The day out at Eatons’ each year encourages her.
“Moments like these or events like these are always really special because you’re gathering a community of people,” Dieterich said.
Racers hailed from all over the United States including New Jersey, South Carolina, Iowa and the states surrounding Wyoming. The event provides a chance for people to become familiar with the organization.
“For those that actually live in our community, if they haven’t heard (about) Habitat or they want to learn more, it sticks in their mind,” Dieterich said. “And then of course it just shows how much support that we do have.”
Three families contributed equity hours Saturday, giving racers a chance to meet those families benefiting from their race fees.
“Having Habitat homeowners here is special because it gives (runners) the chance to learn about their story and make that personal connection as to why they’re here,” Dieterich said.
Race numbers in the first few years reached around 100, and organizers have been trying to maintain those numbers ever since. This year, Dieterich said they exceeded that goal with 117 registrants.
The Wolf Creek Wrangle race provides a challenge for those participating, but Dieterich said she believes the challenge is worth taking for the opportunity to helping fellow community members build a home.