Community Briefs for Dec. 4

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The Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau (Explore Whitefish) will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 at Grouse Mountain Lodge, 2 Fairway Dr. The meeting begins at 3 p.m. The public is invited to attend. A holiday social hour will follow the meeting starting at 5 p.m. For more information, please call 862-3390.

Bazaar canceled

The Whitefish Community Center Holiday Bazaar set for Dec. 7 has been canceled due to a lack of vendors.

Bird Count

It is December and time for the annual Christmas Bird Count. This is the longest running citizen-science project in the world, and you are invited to participate! Veteran birder and counter Josh Covill will present an extraordinary program at the regular Flathead Audubon Society meeting on Monday, Dec. 9, at the United Way Conference Room in Kalispell from 7-9 p.m. Covill’s program will focus on likely birds to be seen, identification tips and counting techniques. He may even have some predictions on new additions to the lists. Two large counts dominate the Flathead — the Bigfork count and the Kalispell count. The 21st annual Kalispell count will be on Sunday, Dec. 29 and the 46th annual Bigfork Christmas Bird Count will be held Saturday, Dec. 14. Both count compilers (Craig Hohenberger and Pete Fisher) will be present at the meeting to sign people up and answer questions. Information about other counts in the area will also be available at the meeting. Flathead Audubon meetings are free and open to the public.

For more information, go to

Art show

Flathead Valley Community College’s Art Department will host an art show featuring student works in jewelry, ceramics, drawing, painting, photography and more. The show will be juried by Flathead Valley artist Shelle Lindholm. Best of Show awards will be presented for exceptional works.

Free and open to the public, the opening gallery is on the lower level of the Arts and Technology building. The show will remain on display until Dec. 13.

Craft fair

An Indigenous Craft Fair will be held at Flathead Valley Community College in the Arts and Technology building in room 139 on Saturday, Dec. 7 from noon to 3 p.m. Claire Charlo with the Bitterroot Salish is organizing the event with the support of Love Lives Here and the Montana American Indian Scholars program at Flathead Valley Community College. Handmade items for sale include beadwork purses, pens, and earrings, plus quilts, paintings, cards and more.

Writing contest

The Authors of the Flathead has opened their annual writing contest for all Flathead-area high school students, including home-schooled students. The deadline for submissions is March 13, 2020. The two categories are short story and poetry. Cash prizes are awarded. Short story first place: $400; second place: $300; third place: $200. Poetry first place: $300; second place: $200; third place: $100.

First prize winners also receive a scholarship to attend the Flathead River Writers Conference Sept. 19 and 20, 2020.

Submission guidelines and rules are available from high school English instructors and school writing centers, or on the Authors of the Flathead website at

Christmas trees

People planning on finding a Christmas tree on tree Flathead National Forest can purchase a $5 tree permit online or at a Flathead National Forest office in Kalispell, Bigfork, or Hungry Horse. Flathead National Forest is one of 13 national forests participating in the online permit system through Open Forest.

Fourth graders are eligible for a free tree permit as part of the Every Kid Outdoors initiative by printing out an Every Kid Outdoors pass voucher from the program’s website, and bringing it to a Flathead National Forest office to exchange for a permit. Every Kid Outdoors tree permits cannot be obtained via Open Forest.

People should pay attention to the species of trees available for cutting, and take a moment to review guidelines to ensure that harvest activities improve forest health.

Christmas tree permits purchased online must be printed and are only valid for trees harvested from Flathead National Forest.

For more information about Christmas tree permits, please call 758-520 or to purchase visit

Christmas assistance

The Salvation Army will hold three final days of registration on Dec. 2-4 for Flathead Valley families to apply for Christmas assistance.

Apply at The Salvation Army Community Center, 110 Bountiful Drive in Kalispell. All applications must be submitted in person and must bring the following documentation: picture IDs for person keeping the appointment; Medicaid Card or certified birth certificate for all household members; proof of low-income status for entire household, such as, letter from DSHS, grant letters, pay stubs from past 30 days; proof of physical address, such as utility bill, rental agreement, DSHS letter, statement from case manager.

The Salvation Army will register qualifying families for Christmas Assistance — food card as well as toys and clothes for each child 12 and under. Registration and number of recipients are limited, based on availability.

The Salvation Army, in collaboration with Toys for Tots, assists families based on donations from generous members of the community.

Women’s Christmas Tea

Columbia Falls Women’s Connection will have their annual Christmas Tea and program on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the North Valley Hospital Community Room in Columbia Falls. Program will include special music by Stacey Lujan, Debbie Howard a tea enthusiast will share her expertise and Judy Pata will share her amazing story of recovery. Cost is $8 and all women are welcome to attend. For reservations call Candy at 387-4119 or Janet at 892-3621 by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9. Affiliated with Stonecroft Ministries.

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