I needed to write an article about an occasional local event for the 2017 Jumpstart contest. Since today is the March for Life in D.C., I thought it appropriate to highlight a pro-life event in my local community of Cody, Wyoming. Enjoy!

A PERSON’S A PERSON, NO MATTER HOW SMALL!

The quote above is from the children’s book, “Horton Hears A Who!” by Dr. Suess. In the book, Horton the elephant is splashing in a pool when he hears a small speck of dust talking to him. Horton realizes that a small person lives on the speck so he places it on a clover, vowing to protect it. He later discovers that the speck is actually a tiny planet, home to a community, Whoville, where microscopic creatures called Whos live. The Mayor of Whoville asks Horton to protect them from harm, which Horton happily agrees to. He proclaims throughout the book that, “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”

This same claim was made by Dr. James Bell, an optometrist in Cody, Wyoming. As a Catholic, Dr. Bell feels all life is a precious gift from our Creator, including the unborn. To raise awareness, he created the “Horton Hears A Who Party” in his home. He opened his home to family, friends, and church members for food, games, and fun. He has copies of Horton Hears A Who on the tables and the movie plays in another room. The first year, he hosted it in his home and had about 90 people in attendance. Each year it has grown and there are now over 500 guests in attendance!

This annual event has turned from a small celebration of life to a major event for our community! Everything is provided by volunteers and it is open to everyone. The entire event is free and open to anyone. Dr. Bell does encourage donations to help fund Serenity Crisis Pregnancy Center. In 2014, Dr. Bell was awarded the International Family of the Year by Knights of Columbus international convention.

Our town sees over a million tourists every summer. The most common compliment we hear is that Cody people are accepting and caring of everyone. The Annual Horton Hears A Who Party is just one example of that!