Not even the Carousel

We’re having a real blizzard. The schools are closed, many roads are closed and – and a sign things are really truly serious outside – even A Carousel For Missoula is closed.

Usually when we have a day off of school we spend some time down at the carousel. Since our short road is completely impassable, I’m glad I can tell the kids there’s no use in trying to get out.

Here’s the short note Theresa Cox (executive director of the carousel) sent out early this morning:

Good morning, all:

For those of you who are able to let people know of immediate happenings, please let them know the Carousel will not be open today, Friday, Feb. 28. If the weather is too bad for people to go to school, it’s too bad for them to risk a trip to the Carousel.
Thank you,

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Gear, clothing sale at Discovery will benefit Anaconda School Ski Program

What a cool deal. This Sunday, Nov. 24, Discovery Ski Area is hosting a big sale with a big name: The Winter Wonderland Extravaganza.

The sale will feature “gently used” winter clothing, ski and snowboard gear, ice skates and more. Best of all, thanks to a partnership between Disco and the parent-teacher-student association at Anaconda Elementary, all the money made from the sale will be used to help support the Anaconda School Ski Program.

It’s happening from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you ask nicely well in advance, the folks running the sale might let you put some items on consignment.

Here’s some more deets:

All funds generated that day will become the scholarships that cover area students’ enrollment in the program.  Participants will get four full days on the hill, including transportation to and from the ski area, rental equipment, a lift ticket, instruction, and a lunch.

During the sale, Discovery Ski Area’s rental shop and ticket office will be open for picking up season passes or squaring away season rentals. Don’t miss out on the 5-pack lift tickets that will also be available for a special price of only $175!

To make donations ahead of time, please drop them off at any of the Anaconda schools or at Community Hospital of Anaconda.

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Kids at Glacier Ice Rink turning Missoula into ‘a hockey town’

The Montana Kaimin – the University of Montana’s student-run newspaper – has an interesting story in today’s edition about the local youth hockey culture.

It delves a little bit into Glacier Ice Rink’s origins at its location on the Missoula County Fairgrounds property and its gradual growth into a mecca for the region’s skating enthusiasts.

Currently, for instance, the rink is once again conducting its Learn to Skate program, which consistently graduates a large percentage of its young students into other hockey programs.

It just goes to show: Give kids a rink, and they’ll skate all over.

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Santa is real and he has a home in Florence, Montana

By TOM BAUER/Missoulian

By TOM BAUER/Missoulian

My daughter is on to the whole fake Santa thing. She sizes up the various Santas we see around town, in the mall or outside grocery stores, usually, and then turns to me with a knowing look and declares, “That isn’t the REAL Santa Claus.”

She believes they are Santa’s helpers, needed because the real Santa is too busy this time of year to do all the things Santas need to do. Today’s Missoulian story about Santa – AKA Charlie Jerke – explains just what those things are, and gives us a glimpse into why Santa’s helpers like Charlie Jerke can be every bit as magical as the “real” Santa.

– MM


Help make the holidays special for kids going through a tough time

The Missoulian’s Tandy Khameneh put it beautifully in her Thanksgiving Day “We Care” column: “Sometimes children are not able to be with their families, but you can help make them feel special during the holiday season.”

There are many ways to show kids who belong to needy western Montana families – or who find themselves apart from their families this winter – that they are part of a community that cares about them.

Yesterday’s “We Care” column, for one, provided a wish list for the current residents of Watson Children’s Shelter, an emergency shelter for children ranging in age from newborn to 14 years old who have experienced abuse, neglect, abandonment or other family crises. Give the shelter a call at 549-0058 to find out which wish list items have been filled and which are still needed.

In Ravalli County, some 250 children have pinned their holiday hopes upon the angel tree inside the Prudential Montana Real Estate office in downtown Hamilton. The organizers of this gift-giving effort are urging anyone interested in buying a present – or perhaps several presents – to bring them in by Dec. 10 so that they can be wrapped and delivered in time for Christmas.

“I know it’s a really hard time for everybody this year, but if we band together as a community, we can get this done,” organizer Carolyn Corter says.

As much as I dislike shopping, it’s always fun to buy presents for kids. You really don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a child feel special. A box of new crayons and a journal-style book of blank pages only costs about $2 – but the lift it gives the recipient is absolutely priceless.

– MM

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