Community briefs for July 18

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Great Fish

The Great Fish Community Challenge will launch with a celebratory party at The Wave on Thursday, July 26 from 5-7 p.m. The event includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and the opportunity to donate for a chance to win additional money for your favorite charities through incentive grants. Donations made at the event will be entered for a chance to win a matching grant. Incentive grants will be drawn all evening at the launch event and awarding $25, $50, even $100 match to donations made that evening. The Great Fish Community Challenge runs July 26 through Sept. 14 and is organized by the Whitefish Community Foundation. For more information, call 863-1781 or visit www.whitefishcommunityfoundation.org.

Swim team

The Whitefish High School swim team is holding an informational meeting on July 24 at 6 p.m. at Marantette Park in Columbia Falls for the teams flocking fundraiser. This is open to all high school students interested in the swimming program. For more information, contact Krista Schrader at 212-4011.

20 years in business

Whitefish Therapy & Sport Center will celebrate 20 years of business on Thursday, July 19 from 5-7 p.m. Event includes a pig roast, beverages, bouncy house, raffle prizes and live music with Larry Myer. The event is at 2006 Hospital Way on the North Valley Hospital Campus. For more information, call 862-9378.

Blood drive

The American Red Cross will host its summer Whitefish Community Blood Drive on Thursday, July 19, at The Wave at 1250 Baker Avenue from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Appointments are recommended and a blood donor card or a driver license is required at check-in. To schedule your appointment, call Jean at 406-862-4332 or go online to www.redcrossblood.org and search for blood drives in the 59937 ZIP code. Walk-in donors are welcome; however, there may be a short wait. It is suggested that you eat a hardy meal and drink plenty of water prior to giving blood. Snacks, water and juices will be provided for you at the blood drive.

For further information about the American Red Cross Blood Donation Program and why blood donations are so very important, go to www.redcrossblood.org.

Garden tour

The Whitefish Community Center is holding an evening tour of the Bibler Gardens and Home on Tuesday, July 24. Bus transportation will be from the community center departing at 6:15 p.m. and returning at about 8:30 p.m. The cost is $20 in advance and is limited to 15 people. Call 862-4923 for more information.

Legal clinic

A team of legal professionals will visit Whitefish on Wednesday, July 25, to help people 60 and older complete important estate planning documents at no charge. This legal document clinic will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Whitefish Community Center, 121 East Second Street.

It is estimated that only 45 percent of Americans have completed wills. Many also lack durable power of attorney documents appointing who they wish to make medical or financial decisions for them should they be unable to do so themselves. Not having these important safeguards in place leaves seniors vulnerable and places stress upon family and friends when a crisis happens or a loved one dies.

Clinic participants can complete these and other estate planning documents. Participants will leave with notarized documents, copies of original documents and instructions about what to do with each.

Last year, similar legal clinics in seven Montana communities helped participants complete 959 documents and saved them an estimated $595,000 in legal costs. The program also utilizes one-on-one phone clinics to help seniors in some of Montana’s remotest areas.

People 60 and older on limited incomes can participate in the free legal document clinic. The deadline for registration is Wednesday, July 18. Contact Katy Lovell at 406-444-7787 or 800-332-2272 to register. Space is limited and advance registration is required.

Story and meals

The Whitefish School District, Whitefish Community Library and North Valley Food Bank are coordinating two programs this summer.

The school district and library have partnered to provide free programs highlighting literacy and nutrition this summer. “Lunch and A Story” runs Tuesdays through Aug. 21, at the library at 10:45 a.m. and provides free sack lunches for those under 18, with a story and related craft in the Library’s Community Room. Lunch partner at this program is the Summer Food Service Program.

At North Valley Food Bank, “I Heart Stories” takes place on Thursdays through Sept. 6, at 11:30 a.m. Children can enjoy stories, a craft and a healthy snack provided by the food bank.

“We know that in summer, students slide backwards if they don’t continue to practice literacy skills,” said Whitefish Librarian Mary Drew Powers. “We also know that many families depend on the nutrition available during the school year. The programs hope to address those issues, and as an added bonus, families get to connect with each other on a weekly basis at free events.”

While the programs are targeted to ages 5-8, all ages are welcome to attend.

For more information, call the library at 406-862-9914, or the North Valley Food Bank at 406-862-5863

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Whitefish, MT 59937

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