Governor Steve Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock today joined the Montana Commission on Community Service in recognizing the 2017 recipients of the ServeMontana Awards and First Lady School Breakfast Champion Awards.
“It’s an incredible honor to recognize some of the outstanding citizens who embody the strong spirit of service that runs deep in Montana,” said Governor Bullock. “Service to Montana and to our country is a commitment to the greater good. From high school students to retired veterans, these Montanans are the lifeline of our communities and set an example of the greatness that we can and all should be.”
The ServeMontana Awards are presented annually to outstanding community volunteers and organizations for their service to Montana. Almost 60 Montana individuals and organizations were nominated by the public this year for the award. Final award recipients were selected by the Montana Commission on Community Service.
First Lady Bullock presented the First Lady School Breakfast Champion Awards to schools that encourage success for all their students through the initiation and continued support of school breakfast programs. Recipients were selected in partnership with the Governor’s Office, Montana No Kid Hungry, and the Montana Office of Public Instruction.
“As the mother of three children and as a parent concerned with all kids in our Montana schools, I am honored to recognize the schools that have demonstrated their commitment to making sure every student is successful in the classroom,” said First Lady Bullock. “By making breakfast part of the school day and more easily accessible, these schools are ensuring that children spend their morning focused on school, rather than counting down the time until lunch.”
ServeMontana Award recipients:
Cole’s Pantry, Bridger, MT: Cole’s Pantry is run by Bridger High School students. Members plan, purchase, fill and distribute food bags each week. The group does its own fundraising, marketing, organizing and distribution.
Harold Spilde, Great Falls, MT: Harold is a key part of the FISH food pantry and coordinates groups of volunteers. As a retired veteran, he spends much of his time feeding those in need and providing a warm welcome to those visiting the community. It is not unusual to find Harold spending in excess of 30 hours a week in service to others.
Kristopher Bosch, Helena, MT: Kris has maintained trails at the Gates of the Mountains, has improved sage grouse habitat, and has helped remove sections of barbed wire fence to expand the Wild Horse Range. As a student intern for the Youth Forest Monitoring program in Helena, Kris conducted wildlife surveys ranging from amphibians to woodpeckers.
Lunch on Us, Miles City, MT: Since 2006, the “Lunch on Us” team have been providing lunch to students and community members in need. What started out as a much-needed hot lunch program for Custer County High School Students, has evolved into a weekly lunch program for nearly 80 students and community members.
Carol Brooker, Plains, MT: Carol serves on nearly 20 volunteer boards in Sanders County. Carol has served as a Sanders County Commissioner for over 20 years and cares deeply about her neighbors. Whether it’s a statewide issue, a challenge within Sanders County, an improvement necessary on one of our rural towns or a person in need, Carol is there to help.
Charlotte Gaustad, Polson, MT: Charlotte has served as a Foster Grandparent mentor for 17 years. During her nearly 2 decades of service, Charlotte has mentored hundreds of elementary children in Polson, Cherry Valley and Linderman schools. Known as Grandma G, she has volunteered over 13,000 hours.
Rose Neumiller-Green, Wolf Point, MT: Rose saw the need for a food bank in her community so she started the Wolf Point Food Pantry. She volunteers every weekday and manages daily operations to help those in need. When not overseeing the food pantry, you will find Rose serving at the local soup kitchen.
First Lady School Breakfast Champion recipients:
Lima K-12 Schools, Lima, MT: Startup of a new school breakfast program.
Target Range Schools, Missoula, MT: Increased participation in an existing school breakfast program.
Red Lodge Public Schools, Red Lodge, MT: Long-standing tradition of excellence in serving school breakfast.
Ekalaka Public Schools, Ekalaka, MT: Food Service Staff of the Year.
For additional awardee descriptions, visit serve.mt.gov
The 2017 ServeMontana and First Lady School Breakfast Champion awards were sponsored by the Montana Credit Unions.