As I mentioned earlier, the Tuesday evening event known as Family Connections will be free and open to the community – free to attend, plus free eats and door prizes.

Now comes word that attendants may just snag a free gas card as well, courtesy of the Town Pump Foundation.

Apparently the foundation gifted the Missoula Forum for Children and Youth with $500, with which it bought 20 gas gift cards worth $25 each. One of those would be about enough to top off the tank in my Jeep.

But that’s not all. Event organizers are planning on giving away plenty of other goodies, including, for instance, $25 gift cards to local grocery stores, thanks to the Montana Educators Credit Union and Orange Street Food Farm.

Once again, the event will take place in the Home Arts Building at the fairgrounds. It is meant to mark the fact that Missoula was again named one of the best communities for young people.

A 3 p.m. press conference will kick off the event, with doors opening to the public at 4 p.m. sharp.  Call the forum’s youth development coordinator, Nina Cramer, at 721-3000, ext. 1023, or send an e-mail to, for more info.

And good luck snagging one of those gift cards!

– MM