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Soul Shine Celebration: keepin’ the vibe high for Mark Robin

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The Hungry Moose adds carnival and ALS fundraiser to annual Music in the Mountains sponsorship


As has become tradition, the Hungry Moose Market and Deli will sponsor the first Music in the Mountains concert, featuring The Lil’ Smokies, on June 22. But this year, the event has been enhanced to thank and celebrate the Big Sky community, and to raise awareness about a disease that has hit home for Mark and Jackie Robin, the owners of the Hungry Moose, and their family.

Last September, Mark was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a neuro-muscular disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Since that time, the Robin family, along with their close friends, family and the community of Big Sky, have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of ALS on a previously healthy, active individual.

“The disease is dark,” Jackie said. “But the outpouring of love and support for our family has been nothing but light-filled. We are overwhelmed.”

The inspiration for the name of the event, which will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 22, at the sponsor tent in Town Center Park, came from one of many handmade cards Mark has received from local children who know him as Marky Moose. It read, “You have soul shine. I love you.”

In honor of Mark, and as a thank you to the community for their outpouring of support, this year’s concert event featuring The Lil’ Smokies and the Gallatin Grass Project will also include a free carnival, music by Lauren Jackson, complimentary food and drinks, games, a dunking booth, a balloon-artist clown, face-painting, cotton candy and more.

“The Hungry Moose family—and the Robin family—have never been more grateful to our friends, employees, customers and community,” Jackie said. “Our staff has done a fantastic job managing both stores; our customers have been loyal, and we’ve been overwhelmed with the help and support we’ve received from so many.”

The Robin family has identified two organizations working to support people with ALS and their families, and one research facility working on treatments. The ALS Association Evergreen Chapter is located near Seattle but covers Montana and has been a great resource for the Robins.

Team Gleason—founded and inspired by former NFL player, Steve Gleason—focuses on the quality of life of ALS sufferers by providing technology grants and helping families realize dreams of travel and adventure. Massachusetts General Hospital ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic is dedicated to finding treatments to ease the path of a person with ALS.

Donations to any of these three organizations are gratefully encouraged. There will be an information tent at the Soul Shine Celebration or you can visit to learn more and contribute online.

To follow Mark’s life with ALS, visit his blog, or find Big Sky Soul Shine on Facebook, where you can link to the blog and giving opportunities. 

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