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Talking Saints sweep in Wyoming

The Carroll College Talking Saints recently traveled to Wyoming, where the team dominated, winning numerous awards.

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Festival of Trees upcoming

Intermountain is celebrating the 30th annual Christmas Festival of Trees from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 at the Helena Civic Center. The theme is Christmas in New York. All proceeds from the four-day event benefit the children and families served by Intermountain’s residential and community based services in the Helena area, Flathead area and across the state.

Public events start with the Evening in the Trees on Thursday, Nov. 30, from 7-9 p.m. Guests can stroll through the decorated trees while enjoying Christmas music by the Caseys and sampling hors d’oeuvres and champagne. Bid electronically on silent auction items and entertainment experiences. All tickets are $25, sold in advance at ticket outlets. A full cash bar will be available.

On the mezzanine, the traditional tabletop tree and wreath silent auction opens, with artwork by local artists. The silent auction will continue throughout the weekend and the Family Days entertainment on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2-3, will be held in the auditorium of the civic center.

Tickets for Family Days are $5 per person (children 10 and under are admitted free) and will be on sale in advance. Admission is free with the donation of a new toy for the children of Intermountain.

The Jingle Bell Jam Dance, for those 21 and older, will be held on Saturday night, Dec. 2, featuring the music of The Clintons. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Tickets will be available at several locations, which are listed at:

For more information, visit or call the Intermountain Festival of Trees Office at 457-4760. 


Carroll Talking Saints clean up in Wyoming

The Carroll Talking Saints forensics team swept to victory at the Northwest College Trapper Rendezvous, held in Powell, Wyoming, Nov. 3-4.

The team won first place in school sweepstakes by sweeping the top four places in BP debate and the top eight speaker awards. The team added 17 awards in speech and drama.

Leading the team was sophomore Kelsie Watkins from Snohomish, Washington, who reached finals in six events, winning impromptu. Sophomore Michael Fuller from Helena, reached five finals, including four top-three trophies.

The championship round of debate was an all-Carroll affair, featuring four Carroll teams. The first-year team of Josh Mansfield of Pocatello, Idaho, and Teigen Tremper of Whitefish won the event. Finishing second were senior Jake MacDuff of Seattle and junior Haley Meredith of Jerome, Idaho. Also in the finals were junior Conor Coutts of Enumclaw, Washington, and senior Luke Kendall of Stevensville, and the sophomore team of Watkins and Peri Dropping of Redmond, Washington.

Carroll also swept extemporaneous speaking, winning the top three awards. Mansfield won extemp, with junior Frank Stumbo of Shelley, Idaho, second and Watkins third.

Mansfield also placed third in impromptu and fourth in prose. He was named the second-best speaker in debate.

Dropping was the top speaker in debate, with partner Watkins finishing third. Kendall and Meredith placed fourth and fifth.

Sophomore Michael Fuller won five awards -- including four top-three trophies -- in impromptu, informative, prose, poetry and program oral interpretation.


Volunteer bell ringers needed

The Salvation Army in the Northwest is preparing for the upcoming holiday red kettle season and volunteers are needed to ring bells. 

For more than 100 years, the iconic red kettles have helped raise money for families and individuals in need during the Holiday season.  The money raised goes toward funding the many programs that The Salvation Army offers including, feeding the hungry, providing shelter, disaster relief, addiction recovery, domestic violence services and youth programs. All money raised in the red kettles stays in the local community where it was raised. 

Local groups, corporations, organizations, churches, families, or individuals can volunteer this season. Volunteer shifts are available for a couple of hours, or regularly throughout the season, depending on the availability of each volunteer.

Contact for more information.


Community Foundation announces grant winners

Montana Community Foundation, Inc. (MCF) has announced grant awards totaling $120,000 benefiting organizations across Montana. Annually, MCF makes grants from the Social Justice Montana Fund. 

Northwest Area Foundation’s region of service includes eight states and 75 Native nations. The grant awarded to MCF supports Northwest Area Foundation’s commitment to helping its priority communities thrive on their own terms. 

Recipients of the Social Justice Montana Fund grant awards were granted the full amount they requested and the additional remaining funds were split equally among all recipients. Recipients include:

  • ACLU of Montana $8,235
  • EmpowerMT $8,235
  • Friends Forever Mentoring $8,235
  • HAVEN $8,235
  • Helena Area Habitat for Humanity $8,235
  • Hockaday Museum of Art $7,735
  • Hopa Mountain Foundation $8,235
  • International Rescue Committee, Inc. $8,235
  • Montana Human Rights Network $8,235
  • Montana Racial Equity Project $6,720
  • Montana Women Vote $8,235
  • NACDC Financial Services $8,235
  • Soft Landing Missoula $6,735
  • Thrive $8,235
  • Women's Foundation of Montana $8,235


United Way receives grant

United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area (UWLCA) has received an Emergency Food and Shelter Grant from FEMA in the amount of $16,203. The amount awarded is almost $2,000 more than was received by UWLCA in the previous year.

The federal funds are distributed under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program. They are to be used to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the Helena area. A local board of representatives from the community will determine how the grant will be distributed to local organizations. Local governments or local nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for the funding from United Way, but they must meet federal guidelines, which can be found at A one-page letter describing potential use of the grant and its importance in the community will meet application requirements through UWLCA, though letters of support are recommended.


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Light A Life memorials being accepted

St. Peter's Hospital Foundation is accepting memorial and honor gifts for Light A Life, the annual fundraising event for St. Peter’s Hospice. The official tree lighting and dedication of the hospice tree is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Helena Civic Center. Following a brief indoor candle-lighting ceremony, the 80-foot tall evergreen in front of the civic center will be lit for those whom lights have been given. The annual Light A Life campaign helps provide Hospice care to all those in need, regardless of financial resources.

To make a contribution to Light A Life, send your gift before Monday, Nov. 27, to make sure the names of loved ones are received in time for the tree-lighting ceremony. Send a check for the suggested minimum amount of $10 for each person to be honored or remembered, to St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation, 2475 E. Broadway, Helena, MT 59601. Provide the name of the person the gift is in memory or in honor of, and to whom a card of notification should be sent. You can also donate online at

For more information, call 444-2370.


Gifts With A Lift program benefits MSH patients

The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) has announced that donation boxes have been set up at various locations to receive holiday gifts that benefit Montana State Hospital (MSH) patients.

The effort is part of the annual Gifts With A Lift program that has played an instrumental role in spreading holiday cheer to patients for the past 65 years. The program ensures that all state hospital patients have a gift under the Christmas tree.

Ideas for gift suggestions include, but are not limited to the following: pocket games/books, CDs/CD players, socks, T-shirts/sweatshirts, cards, hats/gloves, magazines, fanny packs, phone cards, jackets, craft kits, batteries, slippers, blankets/throws, headphones, postage stamps and stationery. MSH is especially in need of winter coats for men and women in sizes XL- 5X.

Individuals or service organizations interested in "adopting" a patient can contact Beth Eastman at 406-693-7145.

Gifts mailed to the hospital should not be wrapped; however, donations of wrapping paper and gift boxes are welcome. Include a name and address in the package and a return receipt so the arrival of the gift can be acknowledge.

Gifts or cash donations can be mailed to Gifts With A Lift, c/o Beth Eastman, P.O. Box 300, Montana State Hospital, Warm Springs, MT 59756. In order to arrive in time for Christmas, gifts should be dropped off or mailed by Dec. 11. Make checks payable to: Gifts With A Lift.

Gifts can also be dropped off at any of the following locations: NAMI-MT, 555 Fuller, Suite 3, Helena, MT 59601; Center for Mental Health, 900 N. Jackson, Helena, MT 59601; Addictive and Mental Disorders Division-DPHHS AMDD; 100 N. Park Ave., Suite 300, Helena, MT 59601.



U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Hannah Moudree graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

She is a 2007 graduate of Broadwater High School in Townsend. She earned a bachelor's degree in 2016 from Montana State University-Bozeman.


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