The Christmas spirit is shining at Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Station, located near Gillette, WY, in the form of a transmission-themed Christmas tree, which will be displayed in the lobby at Dry Fork Station.
The transmission tree, which was entered into a fundraiser event in Gillette called Festival of Trees, is a four-foot-tall transmission tower with colored lights strung down to distribution power poles to form a tree shape. Below the poles are a power plant, houses, people and a battery-operated train.
The display placed first in the Kids’ Choice category, and helped raise $103,000 to benefit Lifeline and the Close to Home Hospice House in Gillette.
Bobby Wade, Dry Fork Station operator, and Cole Kruse, a mechanical technician at Dry Fork Station, were the main project engineers. Wade came up with the energy-themed display when he heard of the power plant’s plans to participate in the charitable event.
“I just had an idea. I knew it was a little unconventional, but it was going to represent the power industry and what we do,” Wade says.
While Wade developed the concept and started piecing together the display, he recruited Kruse to build the transmission tower and power poles. Kruse has created several pieces of metal and wood artwork in his spare time. He churned out the poles in about 15 hours.
“I feel good about doing charitable work for the community,” Kruse says.
Wade shared a personal connection to the event’s beneficiaries, as both his mother and grandmother received hospice care in the community.
“I absolutely 100 percent fully support Lifeline and hospice in Campbell County. Every little bit helps,” he says.
Basin Electric employees also submitted a tree named “Angels We Remember” into the Festival of Trees tree auction.
Dry Fork Station Angel Tree
Dry Fork Station has also set out an Angel Tree to benefit less fortunate children in Campbell County.
Employees can pick one or more tags off the tree in the lobby, or pick up a Secret Santa letter on the bulletin board in the downstairs administrative office, and buy a gift to brighten a child’s Christmas.