|Gracie’s Promise is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable organization whose mission it is to “raise
funds and give financial assistance to families with members, primarily children 21 years of age or
younger, battling catastrophic medical circumstances. These families will be selected from
applications submitted to Gracie’s Promise.”
In our rural regions, families often must travel long distances for multiple treatments at large
urban hospitals for the results of severe illnesses and disabling accidents. This places extreme
negative stress on work schedules, finances, and the emotional and spiritual well-being of the
Gracie’s Promise was created in 2009 to address these needs. Families whose applications are
approved receive quarterly funds to pay whatever expenses they choose. The Board of Gracie’s
Promise is committed to assist the family in this way as long as the family has needs and as long
as Gracie’s Promise has resources. Thus fundraising is a large part of the work of Gracie’s
Our first and foremost fundraising effort has been the creation of wildlife art note cards, printed
from the works of award-winning Wyoming wildlife artist Bud Watson of Torrington, Wyoming.
These art note cards are available at Gracie’s Promise special events and displays. They will also
be available as e-cards at the graciespromise.org website which is currently under construction.
Larger prints available upon request.
Gracie’s Promise was formed from a need and a seed. In 2009, Bud Watson’s greatgranddaughter.
Gracie Claborn, of Casper, Wyoming, was diagnosed with a lung tumor. At 11
months old, she underwent surgery. The surgeons were not only unable to remove the tumor, but
they discovered that Gracie also had leukemia.
Her entire family went into survival mode. Bud struggled to find a way to help. At the same time,
All Saints Episcopal Church of Torrington and each Episcopal church in Wyoming received a
substantial amount of money for a “Mustard Seed” project from the Foundation for the Episcopal
Diocese of Wyoming. This effort was designed to encourage congregations to reach out into their
communities and grow their Mustard Seed money in a way that would benefit the community and
Bud Watson suggested to his All Saints congregation that he put his wildlife paintings into art
note cards and they be given away for donations to a fund to help families whose children had
The need met the seed and Gracie’s Promise was born. The name of the organization came from
Gracie Claborn’s reaction to her illness. As an infant, she had no language, but her spirit shone
through. Her bad days were very bad. On her good days, she did what every toddler does. She
explored her world. She played tag and dolls with her older sister Teagan, and cuddled with Mom
By her actions, Gracie “promised” that she would live each day with abundant joy, love, and
curiosity with God’s blessing and grace. From that foundation of Gracie’s example, the Board and
Friends of Gracie’s Promise were able to eventually fund quarterly grants for six families in three
states who were going through similar circumstances.
As other families come to know of the existence of Gracie’s Promise, we will surely receive
applications from families. It is important that we continue to tell Gracie Claborn’s story and that
of her family. As their trips to Denver from Casper, Wyoming, became more numerous and
intense, Gracie’s father, Bobby Claborn, was unable to keep his job, and the family eventually lost their home. They relocated to Greeley, Colorado, and lived with Mom Leslie’s parents. Gracie’s
treatments in Denver continue today and for at least another two years.
Sadly, other families are in similar circumstances. Gracie’s Promise has provided quarterly grants
to families whose children are dealing with the ramifications of coma, autism, cystic fibrosis,
cancer, and even undiagnosed debilitating illness. By the Spring of 2011, Gracie’s Promise has
worked with twelve families in five states. We will grow, with God’s love.