Wyoming's Cowboy Joe Club Nearing Two Million Dollar Mark in Annual Fundraising

June 9, 2008

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The Cowboy Joe Club, the fundraising organization for the University of Wyoming Athletics Department, is nearing the $2 million mark in annual fundraising through its first five months of the 2008 calendar year. As of June 1, 2008, the Cowboy Joe Club (CJC) had raised $1,788,102 for student-athlete scholarships and other athletic department funding. That is an increase of $349,687 from the same time a year ago.

Only five months into the 2008 calendar year, CJC needs only $211,898 to achieve its cash fundraising goal for the entire year of $2,000,000.

"I can't thank our Cowboy Joe Club members enough for the continued support they provide for Cowboy and Cowgirl Athletics," said Tom Burman, UW Athletics Director. "The generosity of Wyoming fans is second to none. Their increased giving shows the commitment our donors have made to help our student-athletes and coaches succeed at the highest level of collegiate athletics."

"We are very proud of how our members have stepped up in 2008. Being almost $350,000 ahead of where we were at this time last year, which was also a record -breaking year," said Josh Rebholz, UW Associate Athletics Director for Development. "We couldn't be happier right now.

"This year brought many changes in the club's policies and procedures, which we believe will give members even greater benefits for their contributions. Our donors have embraced the change and stepped up to the plate at higher levels than we've ever seen.

"I can't say enough about our staff, the Cowboy Joe Club Board of Directors and the many volunteers who work so hard all year long to make this club more and more successful. We will reach our goal of raising $3.3 million annually in a few short years, because we have the greatest supporters in the country and they wouldn't have it any other way."

The goal of raising $3.3 million annually through private donations grew out of a desire to raise the entire cost of athletic scholarships for nearly 400 UW student-athletes which totaled approximately $3.3 million in 2007-08. The funds raised by the Cowboy Joe Club help defray many of those educational costs, as well as contribute to other UW Athletic Department operating costs.

Some other numbers from this year's Cowboy Joe Club fundraising efforts include:

  • The fact that 83% of last year's 4,225 members have already renewed
  • A total of 856 members (24%) out of 3,523 renewals have increased their donations by at least one level and joined the $3.3 Million Club
  • There have been 359 new members join the Cowboy Joe Club which totals $101,552 in new monies
  • Cowboy Joe Club members are averaging more than $500 per donation in 2008, which is nearly $100 more than last year's average gift

    The Cowboy Joe Club wants to remind donors that the third and final renewal notice went out on Monday, June 2 to members who have yet to renew. Members are encouraged to renew prior to the June 30th renewal deadline to be guaranteed benefits for the upcoming 2008-09 athletic seasons, including priority parking and seating.

    Wyoming Athletics also recently completed a $32 million Athletics Facility Campaign. A total of 110 donors contributed $25,000 or more to the campaign for a total of $16 million in private donations. The Wyoming Legislature's matching program, which matched dollar for dollar each donation of $25,000 or greater, made up the other $16 million.

    Anyone interested in joining the Cowboy Joe Club or renewing an existing membership may contact the Cowboy Joe Club at (307) 766-6242, or may join online HERE.