Shawn O’Brate

RIVERTON – This upcoming July the second annual Dreams In Motion fundraising golf tournament will be held at the Riverton Country Club with 100% of the proceeds going to members of the community that are going through health challenges like cancer or transplants.

Bruce Tippets, one of the co-founders of the golf tournament and Dreams In Motion as a whole, is not only a Riverton native that looks to give back to the brimming community but he’s also a transplant recipient himself.

“I’m really lucky to have a kidney,” Tippets said, “I had a kidney transplant on October 18, 2018 after being on dialysis for four years. I’m grateful (and) honored that I got a kidney, it’s changed my life dramatically.”

He said that he knew the entire town was praying for him and that his life would not be where it is today if it weren’t for the town itself. It’s with that gratefulness that he and co-founder Joel Brown put on the first ever Dreams In Motion fundraising tournament last year.

The event was a smashing success with 13 teams of four participating and several sponsors pitching in, as well as helping fund a hole-in-one contest that will be repeated this year. Tippets hopes that not only will there be more teams and more sponsors but that the reaction from the town will be just as remarkable as the first.

That reaction is largely in part due to what the event leads to: honoring members of the Riverton and Wyoming community as a whole in enthralling ways.

One woman, Mary Axthelm of the Boys and Girls club, who survived breast cancer two times was gifted with an authentic Baltimore Ravens jersey and sent to a Denver Broncos game where she sat eleven rows up from the field and watched the purple-and-gold destroy the home team 23-7. 

“Mary Axthelm has made a massive impact in the community with the Boys and Girls club,” Tippets said, “it’s people like her who we want to help out with the tournament.”

Another person who has been honored thanks to Dreams In Motion was Teylor Dunn, a current undergraduate student at the University of Wyoming, who was life-flighted to a Utah Burn Center back in August of 2020 after a food truck explosion left her with 2nd and 3rd degree burns on 49% of her body.

As a huge Wyoming basketball fan the Dreams In Motion non-profit organization was able to surprise her with an all-expense paid trip to the Mountain West Conference tournament where she was honored at halftime of the Wyoming and Nevada basketball game, garnering a standing ovation for her strength and determination.

Other heroes that they have honored include Ogden, Utah High School football coach Erik Thompson who has been battling ALS and was honored on the field of a Weber State University football game last fall. There was also 12-year-old Syrus McMickell who is on the kidney transplant list, he’s being honored with an all-expenses paid trip to see the L.A. Angels play two games against the Washington Nationals this weekend in Los Angeles.

Tippets may not have been honored like Dunn or Axthelm but he knows the importance of sports as a getaway from real life, especially when real life is so taxing and grueling.

“When I got a kidney I just wanted to go to as many games as I could,” Tippets said about his life after the transplant, “I wanted to go to University of Utah games since I got my kidney from there, I wanted to go to BYU games, I wanted to go to Wyoming games and I finally realized two years ago maybe I should actually think of other people.”

It was when that idea hit him that he contacted people around the states of Utah, where he works as a newspaper writer in Vernal, and Wyoming where he was born and raised. When he found Joel Brown, a former Chamber of Commerce executive director, who had a “passion for helping out people and a passion for sports” he knew that they could help each other.

Through the Dreams In Motion golf tournament and the Trees for Charity event in Vernal the 501 C-3 non-profit organization has been able to honor and help 67 people with many more on the docket thanks to the upcoming four-man golf scramble in July.

“It’s amazing to see the reaction when we tell [people] we’re going to honor them,” Tippets said, “and it’s really been a great experience to work on this and we’re grateful for the support that we’ve gotten from the sponsors…and our really good turnout in Riverton.”

Hopefully that support continues to grow with this upcoming tournament which anybody can join, even if they don’t have groups of four to play with. The $100 entry fee includes green fees, cart rentals, lunch, and the hole-in-one prize which will be on a specific hole throughout the day. 

“This is my small way to celebrate the magic of life, and to bring joy to deserving people who are regaining an ability to live independently,” Tippets said about heroes in both his favorite states, “Me being from Riverton I’m always going to be a WY guy, that’s why I wanted to make sure it was not just a UT thing I wanted it to be a WY thing too.

In the end this event is more than just a golf tournament, especially for Tippets:

“My love for Wyoming is through and through. Riverton is my home,” Tippets said with tears forming, “We just want to give [people] a chance that they can have something to look forward to, a chance for them to be able to forget their trials, their tribulations and a chance for us to say thank you to them for everything they do in the community.”

You can find more information about the Dreams In Motion four-man scramble tournament, taking place July 16th at 9AM, on their website,, and if you’d like to donate to celebrate the heroes feel free to email Bruce at

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