By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Block of Bucks Sets Funding Record

 

James Walling / For the Courier

Joe French (R) of Northern Border Pipeline and Trans-Canada poses downtown with SSG A.J. Etherington (author) of the Montana National Guard with the Blocks of Bucks sign. Trans-Canada donated $1,000 to the Blocks of Bucks this year and the local Montana National Guard Members and the 484th MP Company Detachment 1 were this year's community partners.

Valley County's Blocks of Bucks program set an all-time high Dec. 3 raising over $31,000 in funds to assist 297 county children with buying essential winter clothing, such as coats and boots. Mary Armstrong, the chair for Blocks of Bucks, said, "It truly is a remarkable community to be able to raise so much in such a short time."

The bulk of the money is raised through volunteers, from the Soroptomists, the Glasgow High Student Council, and the Montana National Guard, who stand on downtown street corners asking for money (full-disclosure: the author was one of those volunteers). Additional funds came from the Student Council Remembrance Tree donations, and from large donations such as a $1,000 donation from Trans-Canada, the parent company for Northern Border Pipeline, and Shopko among others.

On Dec. 4, over 50 additional volunteers suited up to take the many receiving children shopping at Glasgow destinations including, Little Campers, D & G Sports and Western, the Fashionette, and Shopko. "With over 50 volunteers, the most anyone can remember, it made the shopping go really quickly and efficiently so none of our families really had to wait around too long," said Armstrong.


Local shops are an integral part of the event's success each year. Armstrong said, "The Fashionette joined Block of Bucks this year for the first time in years... Shopko gave us a $1,000 donation... D&G gave us really good discounts and they always accommodate us nicely... and Little Campers caters to us immensely by having the winter clothes, boots and coats all ready for us."

Armstrong sought to thank all in the community who gave money, volunteered, or provided services to help with making the program a success. She also commented that the use of the Elks Lodge made this year's event better by providing a facility for families to wait, and for registration and organization to occur. "It was nice to have a facility for families to be comfortable and we could run more efficiently and smoothly," said Armstrong.

Armstrong emphasized the program's true generosity, and adds that the program is for essential winter clothing. She also clarified that in order to qualify, a family has to register through the Office of Public Assistance. Armstrong thanked Lynn Malnaa at OPA for her support in registering families in need. While taking in the overall success of the program, and the number of people who came together to support it, Armstrong declared, "The community is just awesome."


 

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