CHEYENNE, Wyo. Ernie Fischer is from North Dakota, but he has family living in Cheyenne. He said there are two economies in Cheyenne, and many people here are suffering.
Fischer hosts the nation’s largest bison auction at his North Dakota ranch every year. He wanted to help the less fortunate in Cheyenne, especially kids, so he turned to his time-tested approach. An auction.
In November, Fischer will put a young female bison on the auction block, and all the proceeds will go to local charities.
But this isn’t just any bison. Her name is Doughnut. Fischer and his family have bottle-fed her since she was delivered by C-section, and she doesn’t seem to know she’s not a dog.
“She takes rides in my ATV with me, and sleeps on my front porch.” Fischer said, “She’s something special.”
Fischer said he hopes to attract buyers to the auction who will pay for Doughnut to live out her life in peace. With so much human contact in her early days, Fischer said Doughnut isn’t fit for the wild, ranch-life anymore.
But beyond providing Doughnut a good home, Fischer said the real intent of the auction is to help Cheyenne by bringing together potential buyers (donors) and charities. Fischer is asking the business community in Cheyenne to match the proceeds from the auction dollar-for-dollar.
Fischer said, "When you feel strong enough about [helping the less fortunate], you’re going to do something about it. You got to give back sometime. You can’t just take, take, take. So, this is just our way of giving back."
The auction for Doughnut will take place in November. Fischer chose Terry Bison Ranch in Cheyenne to house Doughnut until that time, so she can acclimate to the higher elevation.
Stay tuned to KGWN NewsChannel 5 for more on Doughnut as the auction approaches.