BOZEMAN - For the first time in 2 years, Give Big Gallatin Valley is once again able to celebrate in person.
“We have been virtual due to COVID for the past two years and I'm so excited to get to attend some in-person events that our nonprofits are going to be hosting,” says Bridget Wilkinson, Executive Director of One Valley Gallatin Valley.
One of those nonprofits met at Sidewinders. Big Sky Bravery looked to teach the community more about its mission, and honor service members with a moment of silence to mark the beginning of fundraising .
“We bring in active duty special operations soldiers for post-deployment decompression programs,” says Stewart Lewis.
The community comes together for 24 hours to support local nonprofits like Big Sky Bravery.
“Big Sky Bravery is not alone today. There's a lot of other organizations doing just what we are doing right now. I just encourage the community to find an organization that really speaks to their heart,” says Lewis.
For them, to see the community coming together for their cause does make an impact that's more than financial.
“You know it's amazing I think in today's time there is a bit of a disconnect and to see the local community rally around our nation's military is really inspiring,” says Lewis.
For Stewart his inspiration to give back to the military.
“I'm a civilian through and through, but I feel a strong calling to give back to those who serve,” says Lewis.
Big Sky Bravery was founded back in 2015.
“To see where it is now, today, is an amazing feat because it's not one person it takes a community,” says Shawn Hertz, Chairman Emeritus, Big Sky Bravery.
Even during a time of economic uncertainty.
“Our economy is still really complicated right now, people are still so generous,” says Wilkinson
She is happy that the efforts of Give Big Gallatin Valley reached their $10 million milestone before the 24-hour donation period ended.
“Just reflecting about how far our community has come since 2015 when we started giving big.” says Wilkinson. “Right now we are just trying to celebrate what our community has done this year but we’ll definitely keep you posted on that.”
A final count of total funds will come at a later time. We will keep you updated as those numbers become available.