Compassionate class tips scales on cancer research

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Fourteen Smith Valley School second-graders took to heart a fundraising effort they heard about and mobilized a mini-campaign in just days that inspired big results.

Melissa Martin, a second-grade teacher at Smith Valley School, told her students that her sister, Kim Bosket, an oncology nurse at the Billings Cancer Clinic, was participating in a bicycle ride to raise money for children’s cancer research. They had been learning about helping others in class and Bosket’s ride evolved into the compassionate class’s own fundraising goal.

They wanted to raise $99 — $1 for every mile of the first 99-mile leg of Bosket’s ride. They asked their fellow students at Smith Valley to bring in any spare change from home and collected $72.

The students then held a bake sale that was so successful they ran out of baked goods and had to run and get some ice-cream bars to keep selling. In the end, the young movers and shakers had raised a grand total of $435.69.

Martin said her sister was very surprised and thankful for the donation. She then challenged the adults to match the children’s donation and, to date, has raised $1,300 for children’s cancer research, while pledging to ride a total of 280 miles before the end of the month.

Bosket was amazed that 14 second-graders could make that big of an impact, Martin said, and she was impressed with how giving and loving the Smith Valley community is.

The Mission Valley Christian Academy in Polson is sporting a new walking path that was dedicated May 25 at the school.

In a letter to the Inter Lake, academy Director Christian Bumgarner described the cooperative project, which came together with the help of many groups, businesses and individuals.

Annette Schiele, an academy parent, wrote the grant for the school and was the main driver behind the project.

Cross-country Coach Raina Stene designed the half-mile layout of the track.

The Greater Polson Community Foundation donated $1,250 toward the project and board member Willi Stene used his tractor to dig out the path and spread 20 truck loads of gravel generously donated by Glacier Lake Sand and Gravel and hauled to the school in a truck donated by parent Pat Lake, who also donated the fuel use to deliver the gravel. About a half dozen more loads were purchased from Glacier Lake and moved by grandparent Lawrence Fry. The gravel was then raked and packed down by academy students and staff.

Trees were purchased by the academy, and several trees were donated. Delaney’s Nursery donated and planted a beautiful shade tree. A generous gift from Flathead Signs and Graphics completed the project.

Total donations amounted to well over $4,000, Bumgarner said.

“This project is a great example of positive things that happen when individuals and organizations work together for the common good of our wonderful community,” Bumgarner said. “The Mission Valley Christian Academy would like to thank all the individuals and groups that made this new walking path possible.”

The public is invited to come anytime and enjoy the beautiful views and family-friendly area.

Community Editor Carol Marino may be reached at 758-4440 or

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