Independence Through Education


andyWanden and Andy Kane were ranchers and philanthropists from Fountain, Colorado, who greatly believed in independence through education. Together for more than 50 years, the couple, coming from vastly different backgrounds, shared a love of the Western lifestyle and an appreciation for learning.

Andy Kane was born on his family’s homestead east of Fountain. At the age of 19, he bought 40 acres that had been sold for back taxes and gave it to his parents. This is the first known example of Andy Kane’s skills. He performed as a profession rodeo cowboy, ranched, and bred registered quarter horses known throughout the region for their quality. As a rodeo performer and rancher, roping was his specialty.

Though he was without a formal education, he and his wife, Wanden, believed education was the key to lifelong independence.

wanden-kaneWanden Matthews Lafarge Kane was born in New York to wealthy parents who ensured she received the finest education possible, first with private tutors as the family traveled Europe and, later, at Columbia University. She spoke seven languages and translated Dante from early Italian before attending college. Prior to moving to the Pikes Peak Region in 1940, she traveled by horseback throughout the Southwest, gaining both an appreciation of the region and for Native American culture.

Wanden entered the ranching business first independently and later in partnership with Andy Kane. Together, they built the Kane Family Ranch, a sprawling enterprise. She was twice elected Fountain’s mayor, was named Soroptimist of the Year, and helped found what was to become the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association. She was a world traveler who was at home in an Italian villa, on the rodeo circuit, or at her ranch near Fountain, which boasted the area’s first swimming pool.

Together, Andy and Wanden Kane’s vision was to help others. Though Andy never received a formal education, he and his wife, Wanden, believed education was the key to lifelong independence. The Kane Family Foundation allows this vision to continue by helping thousands of Colorado residents achieve the dream of a college education.