By JESSICA ROBINSON
Gov. Mark Gordon and First Lady Jennie Gordon did the honors of crowning Barbara Anne Greene as Basin’s 2019
Lilac Queen during Saturday’s annual Lilac Day celebration.
She is the 17th woman to be crowned at the celebration; however she is not the first in her family to obtain the honor. Her grandmother, Willa Ellison, and mother, Barbara J. Ellison Greene, were crowned as Lilac Queens as well.
Past queens include Helen Russell, June Hill, Helen Crane, Loraine Getzfried, Shelly King, Jennifer Miller, Lauriena Curtis, Kay Mowery, Juanita Dellos, Pat Brown, Cindy Schlattmann, Ellen Cummings, Becky Allred and Margaret Brown.
The title of Lilac Queen is given to women who are at least 60 years of age and who have made a difference in the community through their volunteerism. Prior to Lilac Days, voting boxes are distributed to various businesses in the community where the public can nominate who they think should be queen. Nominations are counted and the one with the most valid nominations is crowned queen. More than 50 votes were cast this year. Some comments on the nomination forms read:
“What hasn’t she done for Basin?!”
“Because she cares about her community. She is always finding ways to improve it and she is so friendly to everyone. I think she deserves this more than anything!”
“Unwavering and unfailing support of this community and its youth and its health. She is a champion of this town and all that makes it a great place to live.”
“She has a heart of gold, a soul of an angel inside and out. She is a true queen of this town she loves so much.”
Greene said the crowning surprised her. “I knew some people had voted for me because they told me, but I didn’t know that it was in fact me. Those former queens are very crafty. They called my aunt Lynette to tell her the news instead of my mom, so that mom could honestly tell me she hadn’t been notified. The first paragraph Becky Allred read about the queen convinced me they were talking about another woman in town. As I was looking around the park for her, Becky said something about the queen going to Cheyenne to advocate for our community. My ears perked up then and what ran through my head was that I didn’t know this other woman went to Cheyenne. Then Becky said the Queen helped bring Pamida to Greybull. It was then I knew it was me. The tears started. I was blessed to
be sitting behind my mom so I whispered in her ear ‘It’s me.’”
The community has known Greene for picking up mail, prescriptions and shopping for friends and family members who are unable to do these errands.
Greene is also active in community organizations, church activities and worship as well. She has sat on many boards and committees and currently serves on the Library Board, Senior Citizens Board, Camp Bethel Board and is president of the Basin Area Chamber of Commerce.
She has been active in evolving Basin through landscaping, cleaning roads and local shopping. Some of the highlights include annuals and perennial flowers on the streets of Basin and Christmas lights with tours that end with hot chocolate.
Greene is a graduate of Leadership Big Horn County II and has a background in marketing and economic development.
Greene is also known to take the needs of the community and neighboring communities all the way to Cheyenne and meet with lawmakers and financial providers.
She is a staunch supporter of veterans and military families.
Local businesses have had help from Greene through startup, moving forward and providing ideas, goods and materials that have helped Basin to shop locally.
Her service goes beyond the community to cats through her operation of Felines and Friends of Wyoming.
Greene and her husband, Mark Reno, like to dote on her nieces and nephews and her mother. She has cats, dogs and a few horses.
“What an honor. Then to have the governor and first lady crown me … holy buckets. It is also an honor to be in the same category of all the former queens. The first queen was crowned in 2003. My grandma Willa Jackson Ellison and mom Barbara Ellison Greene were jointly crowned in 2004. To be the third generation speaks volumes about the legacy Grandparents Floyd and Willa Ellison started so many decades ago. We were raised to make a difference. While I will never live up to those before me it is still a blessing to be a part of the legacy,” she said.
“I am thankful for this community, its people and of course God for His unfailing love.”