Intermountain - Caring Solutions, Strong Families, Healthy Communities

FH Donor Spotlight

Flathead Donor Spotlight – Becky Palmquist

Winter 2018

Keith and Becky Palmquist have been Intermountain supporters from Day One in the Flathead. Becky will lead the volunteer committee efforts for the 10th Annual Summer Roundup on Thursday, June 28, 2018.

How did you initially get involved with Intermountain?

​I am a twenty-year retired registered nurse. I specialized in children’s psychiatric and mental health issues and for the last fifteen years of my career, I worked exclusively with emotionally, physically, and sexually abused Flathead Valley kids, before serving as the School Nurse for Bigfork Elementary and High Schools. As a veteran psychiatric nurse, I worked with a variety of the Valley’s acute and day-treatment options for kids, and witnessed first-hand the inadequacy of addressing mal-adaptive behaviors without simultaneously attending to emotional wounds.

What do you find most meaningful about Intermountain’s work in the Flathead?

From my very first introduction to Intermountain’s innovative and highly successful “developmental/relational philosophy of care” for traumatized children, I instinctively knew they were the real deal. Now, ten years later, Intermountain has changed the culture of children’s psychiatric services in the Flathead Valley. Previously, we had no crisis-shelter or alternative protective care for endangered children but now, thanks in large part to the monies raised by the compassionate supporters of Intermountain in the Flathead, we have a very different looking model with the beautiful Providence Home campus providing intervention, stabilization, and therapeutic care for traumatized Flathead Valley children.

What inspires you to donate your time and energy to Intermountain?

My desire to help traumatized kids did not end when I retired from psychiatric nursing. Through volunteer efforts I, and many other loyal Intermountain volunteers, have found a way to help Intermountain make the Flathead a safer and more loving place for families and children in crisis, now and for generations to come.

As a Summer Roundup attendee and committee member over the years, what is most special to you about supporting the event?

Ten years ago, when Toni Laurendeau asked me to co-chair the first Intermountain Summer Roundup, I was thrilled. Our goal was to raise enough money to offset some of the initial expenses of bringing Intermountain services into the Valley. We had grand dreams for what Intermountain might accomplish here, once established. We had no idea how many volunteers we could wrangle to help us, or if the community would respond as we hoped they might, but both volunteers and community exceeded all of our expectations. Many of the original Roundup committee members continue to show up, now ten years later, to make Intermountain’s primary fundraising event an annual success.

How has the Summer Roundup evolved over time, and what are you looking forward to most at this year’s 10th?

​At the very first Roundup, Jack Hanna, Intermountain’s dear friend and America’s most beloved animal expert, did an outstanding job as our Master of Ceremonies. We gathered under a large tent in an open field with mountains towering above us, to enjoy the angelic voices of the Von Trapp Family Singers, hoping to raise enough money to make a difference in getting Intermountain to the Valley. This year we are throwing the biggest party ever. It will be a celebration of gratitude honoring all of the loyal community supporters who’ve played such a critical role, these past ten years, in making Intermountain’s clinical, residential, and day treatment services in the Flathead a reality. With Jack Hanna returning as our emcee, and Nashville’s Jake Maurer country-western band live in concert, we will honor and thank the volunteers, and the generous donors who have helped so many suffering Flathead Valley kids through years of supporting Intermountain. With every dollar raised in the Flathead staying in the Flathead, it promises to be a very special evening.

Do you have a favorite Intermountain memory you would like to share?

My favorite Intermountain memory is actually refreshed every year at the Roundup as I marvel at the magic that keeps repeating itself the morning of the event. A large crowd of helpers show up without fail, to make the tables and chair set-up, the flower arranging, the table-dressing and all the centerpieces come together in just under three hours. In that brief amount of time, the tables are sprinkled with fairy dust and the big empty tent is transformed into something beautiful, as under that tent, year after year, a diverse group of volunteers and a compassionate community respond to the pain of emotionally distressed children.

Online registration for the 10th Annual Summer Roundup is now live! To reserve your seats, click here: 2018 SRU Registration. If you have questions about this year’s event, or wish to receive information about becoming an event sponsor, please contact Joel Moersch at 406-858-0641 or joelm@intermountain.org.

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