By Ann Vinciguerra

Planned Parenthood of Montana’s first major Bozeman
fundraising event, “Climbing Mountains for
Planned Parenthood of Montana,” will be Sept. 24 at
7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn.

In an effort to raise funds and awareness for PPMT,
Peter Ramos, of Bozeman and Daniel Burson, Stan
Price, and Rusty Willis from Billings, set out on June
13, 2011 to climb Canada’s highest peak, Mt. Logan
(19,551 ft). They were inspired to help after hearing
that funding for family planning was eliminated from
the Montana state budget. Ramos, a registered nurse
at Community Health Partners, has seen firsthand the
importance of keeping contraceptives and family planning
services affordable and widely available.

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author=”photo by Joe Josephson” desc=”Mount Logan”]
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The climbers developed a First Giving profile to share
information on the climb and create a place to make
secure online donations. Forty-five individuals have
already helped them raise over $2,200. At the Sept.
24 event the climbers will wrap up these fundraising
efforts with a slideshow about their adventure.

“Grassroots efforts like this are a great way to spread
the word about current threats to PPMT and family
planning services in general,” said Stacy James, PPMT
President & CEO. “Peter, Daniel, Stan and Rusty are
an inspiration to all of us.”

James will also be at the fundraiser to visit with attendees
and present information about PPMT. There will also be desserts, coffee, a no-host bar, and
a raffle and door prizes with items donated from local
businesses. All proceeds will go directly to PPMT.

PPMT was founded in 1969 and has grown to
include five health centers and five rural outreach
sites. Each year nearly 20,000 Montanans rely on
the organization for affordable services including
birth control, cancer screenings, breast, annual and
testicular exams, and testing and treatment for sexually
transmitted infections. PPMT offers educational
opportunities statewide, and advocates for reproductive
rights on behalf of all family planning organizations
in Montana.

Ann Vinciguerra is a Development Associate with
Planned Parenthood of Montana.