The Ranger Bar is more than a local watering hole. It’s a supporter of education, and it hopes to raise money for its Ranger Rise Scholarship Program by recruiting community members to guest bartend. 

Jeff Hasse, owner of the Ranger, said one of the components of the program is to invite a local ‘celebrity’ to bartend for two hours one evening.  A portion of the sales and 100% of the tips received will go to the Ranger Rise Scholarship.  

This is the program’s first year and its first guest-bartending event. The maiden voyage of celebrity bartending kicks off tomorrow night, Thursday, Aug. 3 from 6-8 p.m. The notorious local is Danny Punches, “a legend from the Third Street Bar,” Hasse said. 

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Punches, co-owner of Third Street, will be stiff competition for those that follow.“We are going to set the bar high for these other slouches that are going to try to bartend,” Punches said.

We are going to have a Wild Turkey special and another drink special. And then I’ll just bring my glowing personality and hospitality to the world-famous Ranger.” 

Scholarship Money for University of Wyoming Undergrads

The scholarship is for undergraduate students at the University of Wyoming majoring in business, hospitality, or education. Hasse said multiple factors contributed to his decision to begin the scholarship program. 

“After the pandemic, runaway inflation, and a general decline in people’s morale, the Ranger wanted to do something for our employees, customers, and community so we started a Ranger Rise program. One component of that program is the scholarship. 

“We live and work in a college town so it just seemed like the right thing to do. When designing the criteria, I wanted to be sure it went to someone attending the University of Wyoming, paying their own way, and having to work while attending school,” Hasse said. 

This is the first year of the Ranger Rise Program, and the first $500 scholarship winner was announced earlier this week. It was fully funded by the Ranger Bar. “Our hope and plan is to not only increase our contribution to the program but also do some fun events throughout the year where we can raise additional funds and increase both the yearly value of the scholarship,” Hasse said. 

Hasse’s goal is to have two $500 winners next year, and shortly, five $1,000 winners. That goal begins tomorrow night, with local celebrity bartending.   

“We are working on getting 12 different people so we can do it once a month. Other people we are working on lining up include local business owners, UW coaches, our suppliers, the former owner of the Ranger, and many more. If anyone would like to volunteer, just let someone from our management team know.”

Beverage on a Beach, Soon

The Ranger is also opening a second location next spring…in Portugal.

“It is another aspect of our Ranger Rise program. The Ranger is more than a liquor store and bar. I wanted something and somewhere that we could look forward to going to and the place we found happened to be 300 meters from the Atlantic Ocean with average temperatures in the 70s.  We are targeting an opening date of April 1, 2024, and there is a lot of work to do between now and then.”

To apply next year or to donate to the fund, visit the Ranger Rise Scholarship website

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