While Christmas Eve day can typically be a day of joyous preparation and anticipation, for a Casper family, the day will forever be scarred with a tragic memory.
On December 24, 2010, while enjoying the ski slopes on Casper Mountain, former Sheridan resident, Kelli Hoffman Johnson and her 5-year-old daughter, Elise, were victims of a terrible collision with a snowboarder. Elise and the young man were both killed; Kelli has been undergoing rehabilitative work at Craig Hospital in Denver.
Kelli, and her husband Chauncy Johnson, are both 1998 graduates from Sheridan High School and the two live in Casper. Elise was their eldest child. 3-year-old Milli and 7-month-old Logan have been able to join Kelli while she's in Denver.
Melissa Kondos is a longtime close friend of Kelli's. Kondos says that Kelli sustained a massive head injury in the accident, with a break in her C-1 vertebrae.
Kondos says that she doesn't believe Kelli remembers the actual accident, but she does know that her daughter was killed. She adds that Kelli hasn't yet been back to her own home since the accident.
Melissa and several other friends are planning a big benefit fundraiser for the Johnson Family on Saturday, April 2nd at the YMCA beginning at 6 pm.
And Kondos adds that there will be a large silent auction with some significant items.
Admission to the fundraiser is $5 for adults and $2 for children. If you are unable to attend but would like to contribute, a fund has been set up at First Federal Savings Bank.
And finally, on behalf of the Johnson family, Kondos says they want to thank all the sponsors, donors and volunteers.
"Kelli Johnson Benefit"
First Federal Savings Bank
Attention: Emily Nelson
46 West Brundage Street
Sheridan, WY 82801