March 2021
Our goal is to build and sustain free housing that will support patients and their families in North Central Montana.
For many years, there has been a great need in our community for patient housing while receiving outpatient treatment. A patient housing facility has become our top priority.
Read inspiring highlights below!
Construction Update
This photo was taken February 26 by Audrey Phillips. We are thrilled with the progress on the construction so far, and hope to be finished with our facility in July of 2021. We have some interior photos available in our Facebook photo album

We will continue to keep you updated on our construction here and our Facebook page.

To view more photos, click the image or click here.
Share Your Acts of Love or Kindness
Last month we asked you to share random acts of kindness that have happened to you. Thank you to everyone who responded, here are some of our top answers:

  1. Debbie Martinez shared about her coworker Amanda Cunningham who brightened her day after losing her beloved pet. "My dog Milo passed away a few days ago and I was feeling down. My coworkers knew, and when I came back to my desk one day I found a cute bouquet left to me. I found out that it was from Amanda later on. It meant so much to me that she would go the extra step to make my day better!" Debbie also shared a story about a company in town who donated to a patient at the GFC. "We had a patient that could not get crutches, and while Clarks Orthopedics could not get the crutches through insurance, they were able to get a used set donated to the patient.
  2. Brittney Ippel shared about a coworker who brightened her day. "She knew I was having a long day, so she brought me a cookie!"
  3. Audrey Phillips shared about her first birthday at the Legacy Foundation. "I was less than a month into working at the Legacy Foundation when it was my birthday. I wasn't expecting much, but I absolutely thrilled when I came in and my coworkers gave me flowers and a card. It meant so much to me."
  4. Samantha shared a random act of kindness she experienced,"One day, I ran out of money on my cafeteria card and Sydney Norby was behind me in line and paid for my lunch. It was such a generous act of kindness. I assured her I was on my way to get my card to buy a new one and that it was no big deal, but she insisted on treating me. It was so kind. Thank you Sydney!"
  5. Kari Smith told us about how her neighbors go the extra mile. "When my family first moved into our house here in Great Falls, back at the beginning of October, everyone in our neighborhood made time to come introduce themselves to us. They brought heartwarming gifts such as baked good and flowers picked from their own flower beds. The kind heartedness didn't stop there. Since we have moved here our neighbors will put our trash can out on the street on garbage day and even shovel our driveway/sidewalks when it snows."
Read real-life stories about patients and families living in our Montana communities and how we can make a difference!
The Importance of Support by Timothy Buckheit
I was born and raised in Chestertown, Maryland, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. I moved to Great Falls 19 years ago when I was offered a position at as the Pastor of Discipleship Ministries at First Alliance Church in Great Falls. When I was 49 years old, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin follicular lymphoma (stage 4, grade 1) in August of 2020. I had a bulky posterior mediastinal mass (i.e. a tumor) causing a large pleural effusion on my right lung. My lymphoma was discovered by accident when I had a CT scan to diagnose a kidney stone. My only symptom of having cancer was a persistent cough and shortness of breath that presumed to be the result of chronic sinusitis. I underwent six months of combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy. I completed the final round of treatment at the end of January 2021.
I live in Great Falls, fairly close to the Clinic, in fact! I was, and still am, blessed by a tremendous amount of support from my family and my church community. My wife was able to drive me to my appointments when I was not able to drive myself, and people from our church provided meals, prayed for us, and supported us financially and emotionally. I have found that a support network is vital to the treatment and healing process, which is why the work of the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation is significant for those who may not have the same level of support I have had. I just recently learned about the important work of the Legacy Foundation. While I was not helped by the Foundation personally, I believe it is extremely valuable resources, especially for those who live outside of our community and who need housing and support through the treatment journey.
Receiving care during COVID-19 was hard, and the most difficult aspect of COVID-19 for me was that my wife could not be with me for most of my treatments due to the protocols designed to keep the other patients safe. Also, I had to delay my last treatment a couple of weeks when my son contracted COVID-19. Thankfully, I did not get sick myself and my son’s case was mild and treatable at home. Nonetheless, the delay when I was so close to the finish line was disappointing. I am deeply thankful for the caring and competent staff at the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Cancer Care. My oncologist, Dr. Guter, and all the nurses and staff in the office and infusion center were sensitive and responsive to my many needs and questions, and showed me such compassion through a frightening and uncertain time in my life. I felt seen, heard, and genuinely loved throughout my treatment journey with the Great Falls Clinic. 
Read donor highlights and other important recognition events below!
Donor of the Month: My Viola Floral Studio and owner Kari Johnson!
Meet our March Business Donor of the Month, My Viola Floral Studio and owner Kari Johnson!

We are honored to recognize a small business in Great Falls for the month of March! Kari Johnson owns My Viola-Floral Studio located in downtown Great Falls. My Viola-Floral Studio has previously sponsored the GFC Legacy Foundation before and they host our flower cooler in the Great Falls Clinic Hospital. My Viola donates 25% of all flower sales from the cooler to the Foundation. My Viola was also a major sponsor of our #GivingTuesday event last year. My Viola has also supported other nonprofits in Great Falls, including the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art’s annual Art Auction for the past ten years; the MacLean Animal Foundation; The Children’s Museum; The Police Gala; and more!

My Viola-Floral Studio History
My Viola-Floral Studio was opened on December 1st, 2010. Originally located at 319 Central Avenue – where Electric City Coffee is today. My Viola rented for four years before outgrowing the space and purchasing their new building at 716 Central Avenue. They moved into their 716 location in November of 2014 allowing them their retail shop, class space, design room, and consultation area.

Kari’s Story
Kari’s first job as a florist was at Riverview Floral in Fort Benton, Montana. While working there, the owner Don Hazen, liked the planter combinations that Kari assembled and asked Kari if she was interested in floral design. Don took Kari under his wing, which then inspired her to later take a course through the Floral Design Institute in Portland, Oregon. Kari completed training and received a Certificate in Basic Floral Design. A few years later, she went back in-person to the Design Institute and completed training to become a Certified Wedding Florist.

Kari loved working at Riverview Floral, but the commute from Great Falls and back proved to be too much, especially in the wintertime. A year later, Kari started working at Sally’s Flowers when they were located in downtown Great Falls and worked there for five years delivering and designing flowers. She then went to Electric City Conservatory when it was purchased by the Flower Farm in 2003 and worked there for seven years. Kari was promoted to Assistant Manager and three years later she was promoted to manager. After her promotion to manager, she felt it was time to open her own business.

Kari first opened My Viola-Floral Studio in 2010. In the beginning, she only had one full-time employee and her mom to help her. Today My Viola has four full-time employees and one part-time employee. Kari shared one aspect of her job that she loved, “I love the social aspect of my job and getting to meet people from the community who come in to buy my flowers.” Kari also said that since opening her own business, she can set her own hours and has the freedom to decide what she would like to sell and create.

Kari is very passionate about designing flowers for people. Her favorite event to design for are weddings. Although she shares, the spark that keeps her love of floral design really going is how every day there is something new. “One week may start by filling business orders,” Kari shared, “Then there will be a shipment of flowers and then we will need to fill the cooler, or unpack new merchandise and set up displays. A family may come in for sympathy pieces that need to be created. And then, by the end of the week, there could be another wedding!”

My Viola-Flower Studio on Mom and Pop Business Owners Day!
Mom and Pop Business Owners Day is on Monday, March 29, 2021. We want to encourage you to support small businesses like My Viola-Floral Studio! You can find them at 716 Central Avenue in Great Falls, MT.
Check out My Viola-Floral Studio on their website their Facebook!
February Great Falls Clinic Payroll Deduction Donor: Jill Tanner!
We are so appreciative of all of our donors at the Great Falls Clinic! If you work at the Clinic, you can sign up for payroll deductions, which enters you in a special drawing once a month!

February's prize is a COZY BASKET! and it was sponsored by Audrey Phillips. This basket includes a $20 giftcard to All The Things Charcuterie, a fuzzy blanket, a William Sonoma candle, a bottle of Chardonnay and a medium Brandless sweater!

Stay tuned for PTO drawings coming up, we will be drawing one PER QUARTER now! 

Every $10 you donate per month (keep in mind there are two pay periods per month, sometimes three), you will be entered one time. For example: Joe donates $5 per pay period so he have ONE entry. Sally donates $20 per pay period so she will have FOUR entries!

Participation is EASY! Just sign up for payroll deduction by contacting Audrey Phillips at or call at (406)216-8057.
Check out upcoming events below!
Is there an event or fundraiser you want the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation to host? Contact Audrey Phillips at (406)216-8057 or at
AmazonSmile has donated over $200 million to charities worldwide! You can help increase AmazonSmile donations to Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation by shopping at or with AmazonSmile ON in the Amazon Shopping app. 
Review updates on our current capital campaign efforts to build our patient housing facility here!
Current Campaign Status Update - 76% Completion!
Recently, the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation "Building Hope" Campaign surpassed the $2.6 million mark due to a very generous grant. An unexpected escalation of the design and construction fees from several months ago increased our capital campaign goal to $3.4 million. But with our newest campaign update, we have successfully raised over 76% of the funds needed for this project and will break ground mid-September 2020.

If you are interested in donating or volunteering for the Foundation, we could certainly use your help! Please call 406-216-8057, email or click the button below.
How can you help?

Ask 5 of your friends to subscribe to this newsletter. Or share this newsletter on your social media!

To find out more information on how you can help, please call 406-216-8057 or email
February 2021 Donors
Here we recognize our donors for each month in the following month's newsletter. Below is a list of donor names that donated to our Foundation last month:

  • All Season Spas and Stoves
  • Brian Allison
  • Rhetta Brandt
  • Bonnie Bryant
  • Tim Buckheit
  • Kensie Butts
  • Candy Masterpiece
  • Amanda and Scott Cunningham
  • Margaret Dailey
  • First Interstate Bank
  • Elizabeth Forney in memory of Harold Forney
  • Leisa Hotaling
  • Zoe Irvin
  • Patti Jasinski
  • Kathy Jenkins
  • Lindsey Kadner-DeBolt
  • Vickie Keith

  • Melissa Kingsland
  • Patsy Kirkhart
  • L'Heureux Page Werner, P.C. (LPW)
  • Gayle Mauler
  • Mary McGivern
  • Rachelle Murphy
  • Sara Murphy
  • Sydney Norby
  • Jackson and Audrey Phillips
  • Kendra and Dom Puckett
  • Allan and Tina Rabbitt
  • Meghan Ratliff
  • Markie Rohrback
  • Kimberly Schwartz
  • Samantha Jean Shinaberger
  • Diann K Stevens
  • Gabriel and Penny Takala
  • James and Jill Tanner
  • Wyman and Dee Taylor in memory of Jack Davis
  • The Falls Real Estate
  • Paula Walter
  • Miriam and Michael Walters
  • Sheila Yuhas
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501(c)3 non-profit organization | 47-4110464
406-771-3107 |