By Maria Wyllie
Explore Big Sky Associate Editor

BIG SKY – A fundraising event for Big Sky community member Krista Mach will take place at Choppers Grub and Pub in Big Sky on Friday, Sept. 26, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The benefit will feature dinner catered by local restaurants, silent and live auctions, a presentation given by community members and friends, and live music.

A beloved member of the Big Sky community, Mach has lived in Big Sky for 25 years and was hospitalized on Aug. 18 after suffering a massive stroke, which has left her in a serious medical state. Mach’s prognosis is unknown, and her husband JD has been living out of his trailer in the Advanced Care Hospital of Montana’s parking lot, located in Billings, until the next step of her rehabilitation can be determined.

Mach has been involved in a number of organizations over the years, most recently as accountant for The Outlaw Partners (publisher of EBS); office manager and accountant for the PRG Group; and she has dedicated countless hours to the Big Sky Community Corp., working as the organization’s accountant, Parks Chair, and a member of the events committee.

She was also voted the 2013 Community Member of the Year, and was nominated for the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Chet Huntley Lifetime Achievement Award.

Shelly Bermont, one of the event organizers, says they hope this is just one of many ways to raise funds for Mach’s long-term care and support.

“It’s really in celebration of a woman who has given so much to this community,” Bermont said. “If you ever ask Krista for anything, the answer is ‘absolutely.’ She was available to help everyone and anyone who needed help, and she worked tirelessly on anything to better this community.”

There are multiple ways guests can give at the Sept. 26 benefit. Proceeds from food ticket sales, auction items and bar sales will all go towards the Krista Mach Benefit Fund.

Local restaurants donating dinner for the event will have food stations set up from 5:30-7 p.m., and those not wanting to eat dinner can donate at the door instead.

Community members and friends will give a presentation about Krista following dinner, with raffle ticket sales and a silent and live auction from 7-8 p.m., featuring items donated by local businesses. Bermont has designed a line of sterling silver jewelry for the fundraiser called “Krista’s Baubles,” with 100 percent of the proceeds going towards her fund. Those interested in donating items can contact Shelly Bermont directly at (406) 995-7100.

Live music by One Leaf Clover and DJ Tiny will begin at 8 p.m. A camera will be set up for people to send Krista video messages and wish her well.

“We want her to know even though she’s not here at the moment, we are still here and thinking about her everyday,” Bermont said.

Donations to the Krista Mach Benefit Fund are being received at First Security Bank, with locations in Big Sky, West Yellowstone, Belgrade and Three Forks. Call (406) 993-3350 for more information on how to donate. Visitors are encouraged, and can contact JD Mach for scheduling at (406) 539-2580.

For daily updates on Krista, visit caringbridge.org/visit/kristamach.