Local woman heads fundraising for first responders


Jena Doak, [email protected]

A local fundraising effort to raise funds for first responders and their families in case of emergencies did not exist in Rock Springs until now. That is why local residents, Cindy Kniep, Dawn Heikes, Tammy Valdez, and Naomi Kniep, started Holler for Heroes this year.


Holler for Heroes is Cindy Kniep’s brainchild. It is a four-person team whose goal is to raise awareness and appreciation of first responders. Local brave heroes protect their community, and Kniep thought that it was time to help protect them.

“There is money on a national level to help first responders in emergencies, but nothing local. We wanted to provide fundraisers specifically for helping first responders and their families in case of emergencies,” said Kniep.

Their first fundraising event was an online auction that took place in November. Then, they were going to hold a Christmas cookie baking competition last weekend. However, word about the new Holler for Heroes organization hasn’t yet spread very far, so the event was cancelled due to a lack of entries.

“Our main goal right now is to try to get the word out and let everybody know what we are doing,” Kniep said.

The auction raised $860. Items auctioned were locally crafted, hand-crocheted afghans, quilts, and items donated by local businesses.

“Now we’re just trying to get more participation so we can continue getting donations for first responders,” said Kniep.

Funds are being kept in a savings account at Commerce Bank of Wyoming. After funds accrue, they will be disbursed to all of Sweetwater County’s first responding departments such as police, firefighters, sheriffs, and ambulance service providers in case of accidents. Funds will assist in the case of lost income and medical bills.

Locals can learn more about Kniep’s efforts and find out how to help with fundraising by following the Holler for Heroes Facebook page. The page also provides her email address. Kniep will soon have a link for those who wish to donate. She is also in the process of building a web page.

“It’s not only about getting the word out about raising funds,” said Kniep. “It’s also about getting out there and sharing stories about how first responders have helped you or someone you know. Let them know you appreciate them.”

The Rock Springs Fire Department has shared a video on the Holler for Heroes Facebook page, introducing themselves. Kniep and her team are working to share videos from police, sheriffs, and ambulance services.

“That way, people can actually see who it is that their donations would be helping someday,” said Kniep.