November 2018
From Mary's Desk

Did Thanksgiving sneak up on you this year? It sure did for me. I loved hearing family traditions and expressions of gratitude from many of you. I SWEAR Thanksgiving was a whole week earlier, which caught me a bit off guard in terms of the fall holiday season. Something else caught me off guard this fall, which has thrown me for a loop. In late September, I got some medical news which caused a bit of angst while we figured things out. As it turns out, I have a brain tumor.

This diagnosis caused all sorts of emotions, as you might imagine. My mind's thoughts ran the gamut from, I'm okay, I can handle this, to facing the possibility of my demise. Some days, I was cool as a cucumber, others I was a puddle.

One thing this diagnosis did is kick me into gear to take care of some of the things I had been putting off. The startling news prodded me to make sure my affairs are in order. Sounds dramatic, doesn't it? It had been a long time since my will had been updated. Things have changed in my life. I'm still married to the same great guy and we still have a great child. But she's an adult now, no longer a minor. I'm now a Montanan. I have another great guy in my life, my grandson, Soloman. Since my will was last updated, my mom has passed away, and my dad has remarried. I've sold real property and acquired new property. My plans for the people and property and the place that I care about have changed. I need to make sure things are in order.

My grandmother used to tell me, "none of us are getting out of this world alive" and she's right. It's important to me to make sure the people I care about, the plans for my property, especially some of the family heirlooms, go where I want them to go.

Lucky for me, this golf ball sized tumor is a regrowth of a tumor I had removed 14 years ago. Also lucky for me, I live during an era when medicine is pretty darned advanced. I've elected to have this little guy surgically removed, which means I'll be out of the office from late December through February. Surgery is scheduled for December 20. My goal is TO NOT be emailing from my hospital bed the day after surgery this time. I plan to rest and recover fully before returning to work. So, this will be my last Infinity article until March.

Have you thought about your plans? Has it been a while since you've updated your will? Do you have a will? I was shocked to learn 7 in 10 Montanans don't have a will. Whether you have a will or not, the state has a plan for your estate. Don't wait for a major jolting life event to get your affairs in order. Take the time to think through the unpleasant "what ifs" and make your plan. Your loved ones will appreciate you even more for taking care of this important task.

Mary K. Rutherford
President & CEO 
MCF Awards Grants from Social Justice Montana Fund and Blaine County Community Foundation Fund

We are happy to announce the grant awards for both the Social Justice Montana Fund and Blaine County Community Foundation Fund.

Grants totaling $27,000 were made from the Social Justice Montana Fund and this year, emphasis was placed on Montana's Native American population. This fund was  established at MCF in 1997 with a challenge grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation that was matched by donations from Montanans across the state.
This year's grantees are:  
  • Friends Forever Mentoring - $5,000 for mentoring
  • NACDC Financial Service Mini Bank Program - $5,000 for financial literacy for Browning Public Schools
  • The Center Pole - $4,000 for the Food Security Program
  • Montana Racial Equity Project - $3,000 for Dismantling Hatred - Skills and Strategies You Can Use
  • HOPA Mountain - $3,000 for Indigenous Scholars of Promise Program
  • Montana Women Vote - $3,000 for Women's Policy Leadership Institute
  • Montana Human Rights Network - $2,000 for the Montana Gender Alliance
  • Thrive - $1,000 for Partnership Project
  • EmpowerMT - $1,000 for Be You Crew
Grants totaling $6,000 were made from the Blaine County Community Foundation Fund.  The Blaine County Community Foundation Fund was established at MCF by Warren Ross in 1997. Financial support for this grant program also comes from the Ross 87 Ranch Endowment Fund, established by Warren Ross as well .

This year's grantees are:
  • Chinook Food Pantry - $2,000 for improvements to the food pantry
  • Sweet Memorial Nursing Home - $2,000 for a water fountain
  • Blaine County Wildlife Museum - $2,000 for website updates
Don't delay that stock transfer gift!

December 21, 2018 is the final day we can confidently expect stock transfer gifts will process in time to be eligible for the 2018 tax year. You may still transfer after that date, but your gift may or may not make it to our custodian by December 31.  

We can provide all the necessary paperwork to make things easy for you. If you have questions or need assistance with your year-end charitable giving, please  let us know - we're here to help. 
Anonymous donor gives $25,000 to Montana Hope Project  

We're happy to tell you an incredibly generous MCF donor recently granted $25,000 to the Montana Hope Project

The goal of the Hope Project is to make dreams come true for critically ill children in Montana. The conditions the children face typically require medical intervention and physically, emotionally, and financially drain the children and their families. The average wish granted costs about $8,800, and the most requested wish is a trip to Walt Disney W orld.

The Montana Hope Project began in 1984 when a handful of Montana Highway Patrol Officers reached out to a couple of kids with life-threatening illnesses. They dug into their own pockets, borrowed a van, and took the kids and their families on a trip to Glacier Park. The Montana Hope Project was born.  

Sponsored by the Association of Montana Troopers, the Montana Hope Project originated from the strong desire of Troopers to offer a special and unique service to the communities they served.

The Montana Hope Project shared two wishes with us that have recently been granted. The first was for Katana from Townsend. Katana has Burkitts Lymphoma, which thankfully is now in remission. Katana was a senior in high school and her wish was for her Jeep to get a makeover. She got her wish and headed off to college in her new ride.

Aymee from East Helena suffered from Ulcerative Colitis and now Crohn's. Her wish was to have the ceiling of her bedroom completed. Volunteers went a step further, giving her a new bed frame, TV, night stand, blinds and more.

Our sincere thanks to the anonymous donor whose generous donation will make more wishes come true for children in Montana and also to the Montana Hope Project for their great work. 
2,889 Turkeys!

Our staff in Helena was excited to head over to Lewis & Clark Library with turkeys and cash in hand for the Helena Food Share's annual Turkey Challenge. The Turkey Challenge is an annual drive to make sure everyone in Helena is able to enjoy a turkey dinner this holiday season. An incredible 2,889 turkeys were donated!
Generosity at Work

What an incredible month of giving! In October, we granted more than $145,000 through 37 grants. We hope you too will consider putting your generosity to work in Montana by supporting the charities and causes YOU care about!
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