By Emily Stifler Explorebigsky.com Managing Editor
BIG SKY – The Country Fair may not have made much of a profit itself, but this year it helped several of the region’s charities in a significant way.
When the Rapier family found out that this year’s event, organized by Robin Brower-McBride at the Chamber of Commerce, was already benefitting four other local nonprofits, the family decided to use their foundation to amplify that good.
Just a week before the Country Fair, the Rapier Family Foundation gave the Chamber $50,000 to be split between the five organizations: Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, Friends of Hyalite, the Big Sky Community Corp., the Big Sky School District’s Booster Club, and the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce.
The original idea, says Brower-McBride, was to “cross promote the event. The more people you have benefitting from [it], the more they’re going to promote it.”
She’d lined it up so the Chamber split the profits of the dunk tank with the BSCC, and the cotton candy, snow cones and the car/bike/RV/trailer wash with the Booster Club, plus giving $2.50 of each $10 entry in the high heeled race to ASC and $2.50 to Friends of Hyalite.
Brower-McBride was thrilled when she heard from Kym Rapier, and grateful for the generous donation.
Before announcing the winners of the high heeled race at the Country Fair on July 28, Chamber board president David O’Connor handed the checks to each organization.
Since founding the foundation in 2006 Dr. George and Kym Rapier have donated more than $100 million annually to various causes, including stay-in-school and youth initiatives, animals in need, seniors and children’s health programs. The family has a home in Big Sky.
The foundation also donated to Dog Days of Summer, which is a fundraiser for Camp Big Sky to be held Aug. 11. The Rapiers will attend Dog Days with a Pretty Paws grooming demonstration/vendor as well as provide a cake walk and items for a raffle, said Camp Big Sky director Katie Coleman.