Warm Valley Lodge – A Community Within a Community

It was New Years Eve in Dubois, Wyoming, and the residents and staff at the Warm Valley Lodge Assisted Living were preparing for their festivities in spite of the unforgettable December 30th fire that burned down several businesses on Main Street.

Dubois WY Fire burned Kit's business to the ground

Leota with Kit Stewart

One of those businesses totally lost in the fire was The Trapline Gallery, which, for over 30 years, had offered some of the most beautiful local art and Native American jewelry found anywhere.

Warm Valley Lodge residents and staff had reached out to Kit Stewart, owner of The Trapline Gallery, and invited her to share our New Year’s Eve dinner and party. Kit often came and shared her time and talents with the residents at the Warm Valley Lodge and joined us for many social events throughout the year. It was time to return some of her goodwill.

Kit was reluctant to come at first, but the Lodge’s activities director encouraged her to “go take a nap and a shower, put on some lipstick and join us – we need you.”

Her arrival made us all feel that life does go on and together makes the journey a good one. We toasted Kit and the New Year with promises of rising from the ashes! Kit said, “The Lodge community always makes me feel so welcome and you are all such wonderful people. Thank you for reaching out to me.”

Stewart's Trapline Gallery

Stewart’s Trapline Gallery after the fire

The Dubois community witnessed the power of the World Wide Web, when, during the fire the news traveled faster than the flames. Since then, there has been an outpouring of concern and support from all over the world.

Love, caring thoughts and financial contributions continue to avalanche into Dubois from the outside world, and from within our own community. Kit Stewart is a reminder to all of us at Warm Valley Lodge that sometimes fires and friendship go hand-in-hand. We are a place to seek support and a helping hand during a time of crisis, where life is celebrated among friends.

County10 Originally published this story here