The University of Wyoming Collegiate FFA Chapter has done a great community service through its efforts to build a memorial playground at the Albany County Fairgrounds.
Last fall, a 9-year old boy known as Cowboy Rowdy (Rowdy Smallwood) passed away after an accident on the family’s ranch. It was a tragic event that was felt by people throughout Wyoming. The University of Wyoming Collegiate FFA Chapter was extremely moved by Cowboy Rowdy’s story and pursued grant money to be used to build a memorial at the Albany County Fairgrounds. The grant was provided through the FFA Foundation by Cameco, a mining company with US headquarters in Cheyenne.
The thought behind the memorial playground and bench was to share the joy and happiness that Cowboy Rowdy brought to the world, with children and their parents. The Albany County Fairgrounds was the perfect location, as it had been a place where Rowdy participated in the fun and excitement of the county fair, showing animals, and enjoying being a kid and a cowboy.
UW Collegiate FFA appointed a committee to begin working on the logistics of creating the new playground. “I know that each person on the committee that developed the Cowboy Rowdy Memorial Playground brought our best to the table,” said Collegiate FFA member Catlin Caines. “We wanted to do something for the community that would help show just exactly how important this boy is.”
Members of Collegiate FFA volunteered to erect the climbing wall and set the new bench. Kenneth Vaughn, representative of Cameco, and Court Schilt, representative of the Wyoming FFA Foundation, were on hand at the dedication of the playground held during Family Night at the Albany County Fair.