FRIENDS OF BIG SKY EDUCATION

BIG SKY – Lone Peak High School graduated three seniors in the class of 2014, and next year’s class is projected to be much bigger.

The sixth graduating class from Big Sky’s fledgling secondary school is expected to be 24 students in 2015. It will be the largest yet, and will likely be followed by equally large classes.

Currently, two local service organizations – Rotary Club of Big Sky and Gallatin Canyon Women’s Club – award approximately $6,000 in total to college-bound students. Friends of Big Sky Education hopes to dramatically increase that amount by sponsoring a 3K walk/run on July 20 at the Big Sky Community Park. FOBSE welcomes community participation in the “Walk/Run For A Scholar’s Dollars” event.

The Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and five local businesses: ACE Hardware – Big Sky, Big Sky Sotheby’s Real Estate, Big Sky Western Bank, First Security Bank and the Outlaw Partners (publisher of this newspaper), have pledged to fund $500 or $1,000 scholarships through FOBSE.

Event organizers and FOBSE members Jerry and Anne Marie Mistretta are donating $1,000 in scholarship funds, in their deceased son Greg’s memory. Other friends and family have contributed an additional $1,325, bringing the total Mistretta scholarship up to $2,325.

Other businesses are considering joining the challenge offered by the retired educators, Anne Marie said.

“We know the Big Sky community will uphold Montana’s small town tradition by pitching in to generate additional scholarship opportunities that recognize academic performance and/or need,” Jerry said. “In the spirit of a Big Sky summer, our fundraiser will be held outside and will be just plain fun.”

“As a community, we need to send a message to our high school students that we expect them to continue their studies and that we honor their efforts to do so,” said Cathy Gorman, Big Sky Sotheby’s Real Estate owner and broker.

Kevin Barton, owner of ACE Hardware – Big Sky, agrees.

“As a parent and a local business owner, I’ve supported the school district for years,” Barton said. “Now with a high school, college scholarships are the next logical focus. I’m proud to be one of the first donors.”

The 3K will begin at the Community Park Pavilion and proceed along the Crail Trail, which parallels Little Coyote Road to the south. A “libation station” on the trail, with water for the participants, will mark the turn-around point. The event will end at the pavilion with a barbecue provided for those who’ve earned $300 or more toward scholarships.

Visit fobsedonate.org for event information or about contributing to, or establishing, scholarships.

Friends of Big Sky Education is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information about FOBSE and local scholarships visit friendsofbigsky.org.

Jack Leuchtefeld and Linda Meade, two of the first participants to register for the 3K walk/run, will be running to support the Gregory Mistretta Memorial Scholarship.

Jack Leuchtefeld and Linda Meade, two of the first participants to register for the 3K walk/run, will be running to support the Gregory Mistretta Memorial Scholarship.