Community briefs published Friday, Jan. 17, 2020

Community briefs published Friday, Jan. 17, 2020

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Helena Christian School inducts members into NHS


Helena Christian School inducted six members on Jan. 8 into its newly founded chapter of the National Honor Society. Students, who, along with scholarship, must also show excellence in character, service, and leadership, the four founding tenets of this nationally recognized institution. Inducted in a special luncheon and ceremony were seniors Aidan Hansemann and Justin Morrison and juniors Josh Austin, Ryan Clark, Katie Freeman and Faith Harlan. After a welcome by administrator Ted Clark, chapter adviser Beth Beigh spoke on the importance and meaning of the four tenets of the NHS and swore in the new members using the NHS pledge.


2020 Women's March is Saturday

From noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, on the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, Montanans from all over the state will converge on the Capital City at Memorial Park to join the 2020 Women’s March in Helena to promote women in leadership. 

Kathleen Williams, three-term state legislator, is the keynote speaker, along with: Bella Nyman, Montana's Children's Miracle Network champion; Elsie Harrington of Montana Youth Action; Jessica Lahr of the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence; Nancy Leifer, the president of Montana League of Women Voters; Melissa Romano, 2018 teacher of the year; and Whitney Williams, sixth generation Montanan and business woman.

There will also be poetry by Montana Poets Laureate Mandy Smoker Broaddus and Melissa Kwansy, music by Judy Fjell and the Montana Women’s Chorus, and a special welcome by Helena City Manager Ana Cortez. Emcees are Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell, Judy Fjell and Rachel Carroll Rivas.

Marchers are encouraged to bring donations for Helena Food Share, The Friendship Center and God’s Love. Their needs list includes canned food, socks, blankets, hats, gloves, sweatpants, hoodies, conditioner, dish soap, or garbage bags. The complete list is on the Women’s March Facebook Page.

Plan on coming early to visit with our organization supporters, meet new friends and speakers, and pick up your "Put a Woman in Charge" pin. 

March for Life 2020 is Saturday

Pro-Life Helena is sponsoring the March for Life 2020 Montana, an annual demonstration against abortion, at the Montana State Capitol in Helena from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. This free event will feature three guest speakers from Montana, including a representative from U.S. Sen. Steve Daines' office.

Initiative I-187 is focus of presentation

Dodie Andersen, Missoula Organizing Director for 2020 Montana Initiative I-187, will present information about the initiative process to get I-187 on the election ballot at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19, at St. Paul's United Methodist Church Fireside Room at Susana Wesley Place, 512 Logan St.

Responding to climate change challenges, this citizen initiative establishes a cohesive renewable energy policy; funds fossil fuel and railroad worker retraining and pension security; and replaces coal tax revenue. Discussion includes:

  • What is the I-187 initiative?
  • Why is I-187 good for Montana?
  • How can you help qualify I-187 for the November 2020 ballot?

Andersen has lived in Missoula for 10 years was one of the founding members of 350 Montana, advocating for a livable planet and renewable energy. Currently she is Coordinator of Transition Missoula and serves on the board of AERO which is working for a sustainable Montana. 

For more information, call Frank Kromkowski, 406-443-0843 or Dodie Andersen, 406-493-0606, or or

Helena High, Capital High to participate in weld-off

Helena High School American Welding Society is holding eighth annual weld-off against Capital High School on Thursday, Jan. 23, from  7:30-8 p.m. at the Helena High Welding Shop, 1300 Billings Ave. Come and enjoy the students' work.

Helena High School American Welding Society Club is also collecting old cell phones for Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. Collection will continue until Jan. 31. Cell phones can be dropped off at the Helena High School main office or the Welding Shop at 1300 Billings Ave. during school hours.

Supplemental food available to seniors

Rocky Mountain Development Council, Inc. (Rocky) will have supplemental foods available to qualified Helena- and East Helena-area senior citizens.

East Helena

  • Monday, Jan. 27, from 2-3:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 50 Prickly Pear Ave., East Helena


  • Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 8-10:30 a.m. at Helena Food Share, 1616 Lewis St.
  • Thursday, Jan. 30, from 8-10:30 a.m. at Helena Food Share, 1616 Lewis St.

Foods consist of canned fruit, vegetables, meats, juice, cereals, dry milk, evaporated milk, cheese, and peanut butter. Persons 60 years and older will be certified to receive the food by categorical income, and residency eligibility. For further information or questions, call Rocky at 406-447-1680 or Helena Food Share at 406-443-3663, or visit our website at


HVBC announces new pastor

Helena Valley Baptist Church has announced Rev. Jason A. Rioux has accepted the call to be pastor. He began his ministry with HVBC on Jan. 1. 

Rioux is a Montana native and was raised in Red Lodge. He attended Red Lodge Baptist Church with his family during his youth and graduated from Red Lodge High School in 1997. In 1997-98, while attending Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, to become a minister of music, he answered the call of God to be a minister of the gospel.

He returned home to Montana where he attended and graduated from Yellowstone Baptist College, now known as Yellowstone Christian College, in Billings in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree with emphasis in Biblical languages and theology. In 1998, he was licensed to the gospel ministry by Red Lodge Baptist Church and in 2000, he was ordained to gospel ministry by Calvary Baptist Church, Laurel, where he was serving as youth and music leader while attending YBC.

In 2009, Rioux received his Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Biblical and historical theology from Multnomah Seminary, Portland, where he also studied multiple years of Greek and Hebrew, and church history.

He and his wife, optometrist Nichole Rioux, moved to Helena in the late summer of 2018. 

HVBC is located at 1315 Sierra Road East. Sunday services are Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and worship service at 10:45. Wednesday evening prayer meetings and Bible study are at 6:30 p.m. Celebrate recovery meal and meetings are held Friday evenings at 6 p.m. 


Area students named UMW's 2019 fall dean's list

The University of Montana Western has released its 2019 fall semester dean’s list. To achieve this honor, students must be enrolled full-time or for 12 semester credits and carry a minimum 3.33 grade point average. An asterisk after a name indicates a student received dean’s list high honors. Area students include:

Avon: Savanna Bignell

Boulder: Jeremias Auch *, Jessica Craft *, Breanna Humphrey, Nolan Sonsteng;

Clancy:  Keair Adgerson, Margaret Dean, Hunter Gilbert Clancy, Amber Nelson, Jessica Pickens *, Kendra Woodland

East Helena: Samantha Burke, Justine Christianson, Isaac Nelson, Sydney Schell *, Gabriel Sommers, Amber Turpin

Helena: Susan Anderson *, Shelby Austin, Brooklyn Bennett *, Katherine Brown, Lindsey Buckley, Emily Clark *, Justin DesRosier, Jessica Elkins, Kirsten Greil *, Augustus Hanson *, Mary Harbert, Mary Hartman, Tona Iwen *, Olivia Laib, Seth Lang, Tate Langel, Miranda LeMieux, Jacob Leo, Shayla Mcgregor *, Konner McKay, Dene Mech, Kristen Muffick *, Malin Nelson, Alyssa Owen *, Kerste Pierce, Danielle Pouliot, Matthew Romasko, Sydney Sheridan *, Kamaria Sinnott, Meagan Steffan, Jeffrey Taylor, Jayden Tripp, Therese Vanisko, Savannah Vannett, Taylor White, Abbie Witham *

Jefferson City: Alexia Winstead

Lincoln: Danielle Cyr *, Cailey DenBoer, Cade Estes

Townsend: John Bakkum *, Harley Barnett, Sean Eichinger, Morgan Nunn, Tommiejo Steele, Reagan Turcotte

White Sulphur Springs: Zane Frisbie *, Marena Stidham

Carroll students receive scholarships for civic engagement

Carroll College students Connor Hague and Sarah Swingley were recently awarded the 2020 George M. Dennison Civic Engagement Scholarship by Montana Campus Compact for volunteering significant time, energy, and resources – while pursuing a degree – to projects that make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. They were two of 11 Montana college students statewide to receive this scholarship.

Swingley, a sophomore from Helena, is a double major in public health and psychology. As a volunteer for Youth Aware of Mental Health, Swingley helps freshmen students learn effective methods of tackling life’s stressors through role play and group discussion. As a YAM instructor, she also teaches her peers about depression and suicide. As the co-founder of the Niceness is Priceless Club, she helps spread kindness through small random acts of kindness and working with high school and elementary students to help them develop emotional intelligence, empathy and kindness skills.

Hague, a senior double major in biochemistry and molecular biology from Tucson, Arizona, Hague’s volunteer service includes everything from answering the crisis line to accompanying survivors in their road to recovery through the Friendship Center; introducing girls to the STEM fields, her passion and area of study, through her work at ExplorationWorks; and advocating for and connecting with senior citizens through Compassus Hospice, Palliative Care and Home Health.

Montana Campus Compact, an 18-campus higher education network that advances the public purposes of higher education, awarded the 11 students across the state with the scholarships. Half of the funds for each $1,000 scholarship have been donated in memory of George M. Dennison by Jane Dennison and sons, Rick and Robert Dennison, and their families. The other half of each scholarship is matched by the winners’ institutions.

Carroll students awarded as 'Your Skin Is In' ambassadors

Carroll College students Karissa Dykstra, of Bigfork, and Courtney Schroeder, of Livingston, were recently announced as recipients of the IMPACT Melanoma winter 2019 Your Skin Is In Ambassador scholarship program.

The Your Skin Is In program awards college students and high school seniors a $1,000 scholarship for becoming Your Skin Is In ambassadors at their respective schools. By taking a pledge to actively spread awareness of skin cancer, ambassadors make a strong and lasting impact on their campuses and communities by promoting education and risk prevention around this important public health issue. Dykstra and Schroeder were two of three students nationwide recognized with this honor.

In order to be considered for one of the program’s scholarships, each student needed to complete IMPACT Melanoma’s Your Skin Is In eLearning course, take the Your Skin Is In Pledge, encourage classmates and community members to do the same, and submit a written application outlining their accomplishments.

Dykstra and Schroeder were also instrumental in Carroll College being awarded the Skin Smart Campus Platinum Award by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention during the Council’s fall conference in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes Carroll’s commitment to ensuring the well-being of our students by providing a safe, healthy learning and living environment on and off campus.


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