Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Seth Romsa
Staff Writer 

Local resident's donation for library totals $1 million


December 12, 2019

Mike Healy

WORLAND – Longtime Worland resident and longtime visitor of the Washakie County Library Mike Healy has donated $1 million for the Washakie County Commissioners to use at their discretion in the remodeling of the Kennedy Ace Hardware building into the new library once the process officially begins.

Healy got into contact with Commissioner Terry Wolf around the time the commissioners decided to purchase the Kennedy Ace building to start talking about a substantial donation. Healy wanted to do this in honor of his late wife, Jean Bailey Healy, who passed away just over 10 years ago.

"This really fit the bill," Healy said. "My wife was an English major in college and loved to read and write, I thought it would be a nice tribute to her to make an investment in the library that I think is long reaching and has been around for a long time and influences the community as a whole."

Healy was raised in Worland and has been a part of four generations (including his son) who have lived in the Big Horn Basin. Healy went on to serve in the Army after college, and spend a little bit of time outside of Worland prior to moving back in the early 1980s and living here ever since managing the family owned and operated LU Ranch.

Healy is now deciding to step back from his role of managing the LU Ranch, and is "looking for things to do," which includes investing in the future of Worland and the community.

"The best way of giving is investing for the long term," Healy said. "This is a big project and I think it is a really important one for the community."

The donation that Healy has given was processed through the Wyoming Community Foundation (WCF), where he sent them assets that were soon liquated to the amount of $1 million for use by the commissioners.

The only thing yet to be figured out about the donation is how the commissioners will receive the money as they need it, but Healy would like to push the community to help raise more money to make the library the best it can be.

"I would encourage other people to look at making gifts to the library," Healy said. "It is a time where the money will last a long time and it will be an investment in our community and will benefit us for many decades."

The commissioners are expected to begin pulling together designs and official concepts for the new Washakie County Library in the coming months, and construction is expected to begin once the Kennedys officially vacate the building at 801 Big Horn and move to their new building in the former Shopko building, 100 South 20th.


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