Funds Raised Fuel Growth of Desperately Needed Support For Struggling Children
By Dave Creamer
As Dr. Art Ulene told the story of his experience with Intermountain at the Summer Roundup in Kalispell last month, there was hardly a dry eye among the 300-plus people in attendance. He told about his Godson Trevor’s time in Helena, and he told guests from all over the country that Intermountain is a world-class facility for treating and caring for severely emotionally traumatized young children. It was a moving speech, without a doubt. Dr. Ulene’s words carry a lot of weight. For years, he was the medical correspondent for The Today Show. It was clear to everyone in attendance that he could have sent Trevor anywhere in the world, but he chose Intermountain. He ended his talk with an impassioned plea to everyone to give generously. For current donors, it was an affirmation that their donations were worthwhile. For prospective donors, it was what they needed to hear to consider a generous gift. The speech worked, as did a lot of other things. The giant tent was decorated brightly and beautifully, under the leadership of Linda Bates. Event Chair and Emcee Suzie Judge kept the mood just light enough—but never let the crowd lose sight of why they were there. Volunteer Wranglers, with direction from Toni Laurendeau and Tom Kennedy, got all the right people to the event. Jane Starr’s silent auction got people thinking generously from the start, and the live auction items pulled together by Bettina Patyk whipped the crowd into a frenzy. And of course, there was the weather. A day after one of the worst storms many of us have ever seen in the Flathead Valley, the weather could not have been more perfect. Tamarack Brewing Company donated a “Brewer for a Day” package for the Live Auction that was so popular they offered a second. A fly-fishing package and a bathroom remodel were also hits, but the real action started when a dinner outing at Marla Paxson’s mountaintop home came up. As bidding approached $20,000, Marla announced that she’d offer a second if the bidders would pay $20,000. Immediately, both bidders agreed. But there had been a third bidder all along, and they were also willing to pay $20,000 if another dinner was offered. Marla graciously and enthusiastically agreed, and $60,000 was quickly raised. And finally, dinner at Wayne Newton’s home was auctioned off, and again, a second one was offered. All told, the live auction brought in over $110,000. As always, the live auction was followed by Fund-a-Relationship, which is an opportunity for people to make outright donations. The action started when auctioneer Dean Folkvord asked if anyone would be willing to give $20,000. After a short delay, a paddle went up. Moving down to $10,000 more paddles went up, and more at every level until over $100,000 more was raised. When the dust settled, over $240,000 was raised the night of the event, not including ticket sales. Thanks to all the volunteers and donors the fourth-annual Summer Roundup was the most successful yet. We appreciate your support, your efforts, your advocacy, and your prayers. We could do none of this without you.