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Give Big Gallatin Valley nonprofit registration deadline April 1


On May 4 and May 5, from 6 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Bozeman Area Community Foundation will host the third annual Give Big Gallatin Valley day, a 24-hour celebration of giving to local nonprofits in Gallatin County. This year, the Community Foundation’s goal is to help raise $500,000 in 24 hours for 150 local nonprofits through 2,000 donors.

Give Big is designed to connect new donors to local causes and to raise unrestricted money to support their work. In only two years, our community has raised $671,647 in funding through 6,370 gifts for over 130 local nonprofits during Give Big. Give Big has selected a new donation day platform, GiveGab, to host this year’s event.

The deadline for nonprofit registration to participate in Give Big 2017 is Saturday, April 1. Nonprofits located in and serving Gallatin County can register online at The Bozeman Area Community Foundation will be hosting free webinars and in-person trainings for registered Give Big nonprofit participants leading up to the event.

“With a minimum gift of $10 during Give Big, anyone can be a philanthropist for causes they care about in our community,” said Bridget Wilkinson, Bozeman Area Community Foundation executive director. “The goal is simple—inspire neighbors to come together, show their pride in their communities, and contribute to support the life-changing work of local nonprofit organizations. We are thrilled to see the impact Give Big Gallatin Valley will make in Gallatin County this year—and in years to come!”

For more information about the Bozeman Area Community Foundation and Give Big Gallatin Valley, contact Bridget Wilkinson at (406) 587-6262 or; or visit

Candace Carr Strauss named Big Sky Chamber CEO


On June 1, Candace Carr Strauss will take the reins as the new CEO of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. Her experience over the past 20 years, in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, has primarily been focused in the experiential economy.

Strauss directed emergency fundraising efforts to bring people back to Washington, D.C., immediately following the events of 9/11; led a team at Bozeman’s Museum of the Rockies as the director of development; and most recently, has been auditing and assessing Wonderful Copenhagen’s funding model.

“We’re tremendously excited to have Candace on board,” said David O’Connor, the chair of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. “She brings a wide-ranging perspective to the role and maintains strong relationships throughout Montana. As Big Sky rapidly grows into the world-class resort community it’s destined to be, Candace and her team will ensure the Chamber is front and center of the many issues that affect the business community.”

“I am truly humbled to have been selected to be the next CEO of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitor Bureau,” Strauss said. “The business of Big Sky, and the foundation for its economic development, is a healthy tourism industry. Right now, this industry is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth, which also means growing pains. To be the individual chosen to speak on behalf of the chamber’s members and their employees, tourism stakeholders, our visitors, our residents and our community as a whole, working in collaboration with our public partners during this transformation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.”

Snowy February improves snowpack and streamflow prospects for spring

February brought a notable change to the weather patterns that were experienced during the month of January according to snowpack data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Montana.
Record breaking snowfall for the month of February was experienced in northern and southern river basins of the state during the first two weeks of the month. Snow blanketed the Rocky Mountain Front at the beginning of the month, with low elevations and valleys receiving more than 3 feet of snow.

Flattop Mountain SNOTEL (snow telemetry) site in Glacier National Park set a new record for February snowfall, and received 12.5 inches of snow water during the month, well above the February normal of 5.3 inches. Further south, Cooke City received copious amounts of snow, prompting the first ever “extreme” avalanche warning for the area when Fisher Creek SNOTEL received 10.9 inches of snow water equivalent between Jan. 31 and Feb. 11.
Lucas Zukiewicz, NRCS water supply specialist for Montana, said all basins experienced substantial improvements over the month with many now at near to above normal for March 1, and most basins are also near to above last year at this time.

“Near normal conditions on this date is great news, but there is still a month to a month and a half before snowpack generally peaks in the mountains of Montana,” Zukiewicz said. “The coming months and their weather patterns will play a critical role in the timing and magnitudes of water in the rivers this coming spring and summer.”
Streamflow forecasts across the state reflect the near to above normal snowpack in many basins, and above average water year-to-date precipitation. Many forecast points are near to above average for many rivers and streams for April through July, but some remain below average due to lack of seasonal snowpack in some central Montana basins.

Detailed forecasts for 98 streams in Montana can be found in the March 1 Water Supply Outlook Report at

Pie Auction to benefit Big Sky schools returns March 24


The annual Big Sky PTO Pie Auction returns Friday, March 24, as one of the longest running events in Big Sky. What started 37 years ago, with families baking and then buying each other’s treats in order to support the school, has become a yearly live and silent auction that raises nearly $100,000 annually.

The funds raised from the Pie Auction support extended education and enrichment opportunities for students and teachers at Ophir Elementary and Middle schools, as well as Lone Peak High School. They are dispersed throughout the school year for field trips, specialized classroom supplies, the Expedition Yellowstone program for fourth graders, the Washington D.C. trip for eighth graders, High School Musical and K-12 downhill and cross country ski programs.

The 37th annual Pie Auction to benefit the Big Sky PTO will be held at Buck’s T-4 Lodge Friday, March 24, from 6 to 10 p.m.

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