Non-profit fair ‘exceeds expectations’

By: 
CHARLIE DENISON
Reporter
Friday, May 10, 2019
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Elisabeth Martell (left) and Laura Tucek greet community members and fellow non-profit representatives during Thursday’s non-profit fair at Central Feed Grilling Co. 

Photos by Charlie Denison

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Public Health Nurse Julie Rooney of the Central Montana Health District introduced “Sting” to the children as she passed out life jackets and insect repellent at the non-profit fair.

Walking from table to table at Central Feed Grilling Co.’s second floor Thursday evening, Russell Epperson could hardly believe it.

His vision of a non-profit fair in Lewistown was before him, and it was better than he could have imagined.

“This is amazing,” he said. “We have 40 non-profits participating and had 42 sign up. There were more who wanted to get involved, too.”

Many came out to check out the non-profits, as well, Epperson added.

“Cars were parked all the way out to Snyder’s Auto,” he said. “We’ve had probably 170 people through the doors, and a lot of them found something up here they didn’t know was offered in Lewistown.”

Naomi Donaldson was one of the people who made some discoveries Thursday.

“There are a lot of people doing great things in the community I had no idea about,” she said. “I’ll definitely stay in contact with some of them.”

Her children also enjoyed the fair. 

“They got life jackets at the Central Montana Health District booth,” she said. “Those will come in handy.”

Donaldson said she was impressed with the variety of non-profits, and she also enjoyed how each booth found a way to entertain the passer-bys. The Together Our Recovery Center Heals/Young People in Recovery booth was particularly fun for her. 

Their mission is to raise awareness on recovery and reduce the stigma, which she appreciated – but it was the beer goggles that excited her.

“These beer goggles are supposed to give you an idea of what you see when you’re intoxicated,” said TORCH/YPR representative Kas Miller. “They’re pretty effective.”

Miller and his fellow TORCH/YPR members had a great time at the non-profit fair, as they agreed it gave them excellent exposure in the community to share their mission and clear up any misconceptions.

Pastor Jake Zauche of First Christian Church was also impressed.

“This is an excellent way for the non-profits of Central Montana to support each other,” he said. “It’s great to see so many people out for it. Today is a huge win for the community.

Epperson agrees. And as he walked around the venue, he couldn’t help but start getting excited about next year.

“I’m sure we’ll do it again,” he said, adding the help of his committee members is what made the event possible.

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