TRIBUTE TO JOHN JORGENSEN; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 130
(Senate - August 01, 2018)

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                       TRIBUTE TO JOHN JORGENSEN

  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, I rise today in celebration of John 
Jorgensen, the Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming's 2018 honoree.
  Since 1978, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming has been 
working to make a positive difference in the lives of children. Their 
mission is to inspire all youth to reach their full potential as 
productive, responsible, and caring citizens. Their activities provide 
the children in our community with a sense of competence, usefulness, 
and belonging.
  On August 29, 2018, the Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming will 
host the 20th Annual Awards and Recognition Breakfast. Every year at 
this event, the Boys and Girls Club honors a member of the community 
who has made outstanding contributions to their organization, Wyoming 
youth, and the city of Casper. It is an inspiring celebration. This 
year's honoree is John Jorgensen. He is an ideal choice to receive this 
honor because of his dedication to advancing childhood literacy and 
improving the lives of Wyoming's children. With this award, the Boys 
and Girls Club of Central Wyoming shows their gratitude for John's 
work, which mirrors the club's important mission.
  John is a successful manager, generous philanthropist, and devoted 
family man. He is a native of Nebraska and attended the University of 
Nebraska, earning a bachelor's degree in Political Science. He served 3 
years in the U.S. Army before pursuing his career in banking. His path 
lead him to California and the Midwest before finally calling Casper, 
WY, home for the past 31 years. He started in Casper as the president 
of the First Wyoming Bank and retired in 2015 as the president of 
Hilltop National Bank.
  John's involvement in his community is immeasurable, and his positive 
impact is felt across Casper and Wyoming. He has been a Casper College 
Foundation Board Member since 1987 and has served as its President 
since 1990. John's leadership grew the foundation to one of the top 
five community college foundations nationwide, with assets of over $90 
million. John was recently awarded the 2018 Casper College Alumni 
Association's Commitment to Excellence Award for his exemplary service. 
He was also awarded the prestigious Benefactor Award in 2014 from the 
Council for Resource Development. In addition, John has served on the 
Natrona County Public Library Foundation, the Nicolaysen Art Museum 
Board, the Wyoming Community Foundation, and the Sue Jorgensen Library 
Foundation. He was instrumental in the completion of the David Street 
Station project and is a member of the Casper Rotary Club.
  Any mention of John would be incomplete without the acknowledgment of 
the Wyoming Reads program. Inspired by his wife Sue's love of reading, 
he founded the program in her memory after her passing in 1996. Sue was 
the director of the elementary education and graduate education 
programs for the University of Wyoming/Casper College Center in Casper 
and was the first coordinator of the UW elementary education teacher 
preparation program. Each year, the Governor of Wyoming proclaims the 
date of the Wyoming Reads program as Wyoming Literacy Day. The event 
started as ``Casper Cares, Casper Reads'' 20 years ago. Since then, the 
program has grown to include thousands of children across Wyoming and 
delivered more than 180,000 personalized books. John's work has 
inspired similar programs in other States, with communities in 
California, Oregon, and Minnesota following his lead. John even takes 
the time to travel to many of these locations to provide leadership and 
  John devotes his time to instilling the value of reading in Wyoming 
youth. He wrote a fairy tale that he acts out as a play for the first 
graders, feeding their excitement to learn as well as honoring Sue. He 
quotes her saying that, ``Until someone can read, they can't really do 
anything else.'' This is his vision for helping children succeed and 
grow. His devotion to childhood literacy ensures the youth of Wyoming 
are educated and inspired.
  John Jorgensen and his family truly represent the Wyoming values of 
courage, generosity, and selflessness. John with his late wife, Sue, 
have five children, Matt Jorgensen, Chris Jorgensen, Marty Jorgensen, 
Sarah Olsen, and Lindsay Lawton, as well as loving grandchildren. 
Children in Casper, WY, and across the country have a bright future 
thanks to the efforts of this incredible family.
  It is with great honor that I recognize this exceptional member of 
our Wyoming community. My wife, Bobbi, joins me in extending our 
congratulations to John Jorgensen for receiving this special 
acknowledgement from the Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming.