Saturday, June 12, 2021

Wings' annual fundraiser a vital resource for cancer patients

| February 4, 2021 12:00 AM

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and continues to consume our full attention, it can be easy to forget that other medical emergencies continue to challenge Flathead Valley residents. Cancer is one of those diseases that never ends and can strike at the most inopportune times for individuals and their families.

For 25 years Wings Regional Cancer Support has been there to help cancer patients with out-of-pocket expenses such as meals, travel and lodging if they have to get treatment outside of the valley. It was cancer survivor Ray Washtak and Jennifer Schaffner, a social worker then serving at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, who started the popular fundraiser in 1995, and we’re grateful they had the foresight and commitment to raise up this important resource for cancer patients.

Wings’ annual radiothon has become a popular fundraising tradition here, bringing in thousands of dollars to help our friends and neighbors as they go through cancer treatment.

But this year, like so many other events, the radiothon is being retooled due to COVID. The event won’t be held at Sportsman and Ski Haus as usual, but it’s nevertheless underway today and Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Donors are encouraged to send a check to Wings at P.O. Box 7852, Kalispell, MT 59904. To donate over the phone, call 406-257-WING (9464). There will be no in-person opportunity to drop off donations.

Northwest Montana has once again flexed its strength as a high school speech and debate juggernaut.

Whitefish High School claimed the Class A state championship last weekend, edging out runner-up Columbia Falls — winner of the last 15 state titles. The Bulldogs amassed 200 overall point, with the Wildcats gaining an impressive 167.

Together, the two schools accounted for 15 top-three finishes and five individual champions.

On the Class AA side, Flathead and Glacier placed second and third behind Bozeman. The runner-up Braves tallied the most event wins and the most individual winners.

It should be noted that this year's state tournament had the added challenge of being held virtually.Congratulations to all the top-notch students who put so much effort into the season. You've made the valley proud.