By Taylor Anderson
It’s not the sort of rejection letter a troubled
child would like to receive in the mail, being
denied acceptance into the Big Sky Youth
Empowerment program. That’s something
that would leave the troubled in a perhaps
eternal hole.
But that’s exactly what founder and Executive
Director Pete MacFadyen wants to avoid with
fundraising events like the Spring Run Off.
After raising more than $160,000 at the 10th annual
fundraiser, it looks like the program—which
provides at-risk kids with opportunities to grow
while skiing, hiking and learning by example from
mentors—can accept more kids than ever this year.
Hundreds of donors piled into the Emerson
Center in Bozeman Friday, June 10 to bid on
items like Burton snowboards, men and women’s
bike cruisers, and trips to Bali and Patagonia. This
event alone raised funds to cover 36 percent of
BYEP’s 2010 budget. One
donor called in and placed a
$15,000 bid on a trophy elkhunting
trip in Montana.
With an annual budget that
has grown in 10 years from
around $15,000 to more than
$500,000 last year, the program
has seen more success
than its founders could have
imagined, so turnouts like
the one last week are tell-tale
signs that folks in the area
are happy with the results
from the organization.

photo: BYEP Executive Director Pete MacFadyen speaks at the 2011 Spring Runoff.

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