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It’s turkey time and the official start to the holiday season! I am so amazed by the outpouring of donations and support for the Helena Food Share at the turkey event held on Friday at the Lewis and Clark Library! This community is SO giving and there are so many families who will have a great Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner due to the generosity shown. I believe they reached their goal of 2,500 turkeys. The Helena Food Share can see between 1,800 and 2,000 families seeking help this time of year, so any donations of food or money is greatly appreciated. Helenans looking out for less fortunate Helenans – that is the best part of living in Montana’s Capital City.

Helena is getting a fantastic new “fun” business that will have people “jumping for joy.” There will be a new 15,000 sq. ft. facility called the Flying Giant Adventure Park that will be built next to Sleeping Giant Lanes where the mini golf used to be located. Owners Ron and Danielle Bolan and Vince Sacchari are excited to bring an amazing array of fun and healthy things for everyone to enjoy. There will be many trampolines, seven rock climbing walls (safest ones available in the U.S.), a three-story soft play jungle gym for the 6 year olds and younger, an overhead obstacle and agility rope course, a virtual reality game, summer camps, toddler time, senior aerobics and much more! Dowling Studio Architects are designing the building and Golden Eagle Construction is the builder. They are hoping for an April opening or shortly after.

I noticed a new building going up on National Avenue near the ReStore. I understand it is a replacement building/workshop for Montana Fabrication who tore down an older building at that site.

Speaking of the ReStore – manager Kristen Kessler is asking the community to remember them for donations of anything building or home oriented. They take building supplies, fixtures, furniture, electric appliances and just about anything necessary for a home or building. Stop by and check out their inventory which can save you money if you are doing a remodel project or repairs around your home, rental, or building. They will pick up items in the Helena area – just call 406-457-0444 or stop by 1531 National Ave. They are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Heidi’s Casino at 2050 Ray Ave. directly north of the Comfort Inn and Suites is complete and now open for business. Owners Heidi Eide and Michael Eide of Bridger Mtn. LLC have completed the finishing touches including the landscaping. They invite you to stop by and check out their unique antique furnishings from around the Helena area. While they obviously offer beer and wine, she also encouraged people to even stop in for a drink or even a cup of coffee – even if you don’t plan to gamble!

Crafted Laser and also Crafted Aesthetics and Wellness have moved to their new location at 1211 Echelon Place right next door to their former location at 1221 Echelon. To find them, go north on North Montana Avenue and turn right where Century 21 is located. It is the second building.

It is nice to see the final phase of the Front Street and Neill Avenue project getting to completion. Helena Sand and Gravel has done a tremendous amount of work over the summer and fall to make a huge upgrade in those streets. The city reports it should open this coming week (one week early) and then a little more concrete and landscaping work will be finished in the spring.

A few more tidbits of news from the city:

They have completed the new transmission main from the Ten Mile treatment plant into town. This $4 million project replaced 100 year old main lines.

Also just completed, the city upsized the South Helena airport sewer lines from the Padbury Estates to the lift station by the airport.

Please note: The City will be holding an open house for 1st Phase of the Rodney Street project on Dec. 9 from 6-8 p.m. at Helena Middle School. This project will encompass Broadway to 9th and include water, sewer, and street – sidewalk to sidewalk.

Cathy Burwell is president/CEO of the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce.

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