Documentaries Screen in Whitefish for Gateway to Glacier Trail

By Beacon Staff

The Gateway to Glacier Trail organization is offering another movie night event that will raise money for the proposed pathway

The organization’s Whitefish Movie Night will feature two documentary films by Brian Bolster at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish on April 26.

Leif Haugen will show “Mercantile,” Bolster’s short documentary on the Polebridge Mercantile, featuring an inside look at their baking operation in a rustic setting. It premiered Jan. 18 at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and played at Missoula’s Big Sky Documentary Film Festival on Feb. 15-24. This will be the second public showing in the Flathead.

Haugen is the focus of the second award-winning documentary film, “The Lookout, “ which features the Flathead National Forest’s Thoma Lookout, above the North Fork of the Flathead River Drainage, a few miles south of the Canadian border. “The Lookout” received the “Big Sky Award” at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 2012. It premiered at the 2012 Slamdance Film Festival and played to several other independent film festivals around the country. This is only the third time it has been publically shown in the Flathead.

Haugen will show the film, then speak about his 19 years as a forest fire lookout and share some of his personal photos. Refreshments and a silent auction of homemade pies, gifts, handicrafts (including quilts) and other desserts will be available in the lobby. The event is sponsored by Black Diamond Mortgage and North Valley Hospital in Whitefish, George’s Distributing in Helena, and Hungry Horse Liquors Store & Storage in Hungry Horse.

Bolster is sharing his films and Haugen is donating his time for this event to help raise funds for the Gateway-to-Glacier Trail, which is a planned bike and pedestrian path along Highway 2 connecting the Flathead Valley with Glacier National Park. Funds are being raised to build a section connecting Coram with West Glacier, approximately seven miles. A separated path will be a safety benefit for locals cycling to Glacier Park, and cross-country cyclists visiting the park on their tours. Completion of the full trail will connect Glacier National Park with over 100 miles of trails in Flathead Valley and beyond.

The trail organization needs to raise a total of $180,000 to make this vision a reality, and $65,000 has already been raised. The Gateway-To-Glacier Trail has been awarded a Flathead County Community Transportation Enhancement Program grant of $840,000 for trail construction costs. In order for the trail to have access to this CTEP program grant, the remaining $115,000 needs to be raised within one year.

Other fund-raising events and donation opportunities are available on the web.

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