An Evening of Dueling Pianos

Boys and Girls Club of Glacier Country will bring back its Dueling Pianos fundraiser in October; nonprofit proposals due by May 15

By Maggie Dresser
Hands at a piano. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

A night of high-energy, fast-tempo and battling performers will once again sweep through the Flathead Valley on Oct. 2 for the Dueling Pianos fundraiser, benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Glacier Country and another to-be-determined nonprofit.

Proposals for the second nonprofit are due by May 15.

The event will feature two pianists from Fun Pianos, a traveling piano group, who play songs ranging from Elvis impersonations and Elton John classics to Justin Bieber in a variety show. Each pianist represents each respective nonprofit and audience members pay to request songs throughout the night.

“It’s a fun event and different from any other wine and dine dinner (fundraiser),” said Mandy Anderson, the Boys and Girls Club Director of Development. “This is just a fun evening.”

Last year, the club raised $9,650 at the fundraiser with about 150 audience members and competed with Human Therapy on Horseback, an equine therapeutic program. Anderson hopes to have around 250 audience members this fall.

The Boys and Girls Club is still searching for another nonprofit to compete against and Anderson is also working to find a venue to host the fundraiser, which Flathead Valley Community College hosted last year.

Anderson hopes to raise more money this fall during its second year, especially since the spring “Suitcase Party” fundraiser was canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, where the grand prize would have been an all-expense-paid weekend to Las Vegas.

The funds raised at the Dueling Pianos show will benefit the Boys and Girls Club afterschool program, which runs year round.

Anderson says the program helps students who need mentorship and structured activities while their parents are at work or if they don’t have a guardian. Program activities include homework help, art, cooking, outdoor and fitness activities and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects.

“Kids come and they have the mentorship of our staff during those crucial hours of the day,” she said.

But since the pandemic shut school doors, the Boys and Girls Club has also shut its own doors to prevent the COVID-19 spread. Anderson says staff members have shifted their program to virtual activities and continue doing similar projects.

“We have been doing a lot of virtual programming,” she said. “Everybody is trying to adjust and that’s what we’ve done. All of our staff take turns during the week.”

Anderson says the Boys and Girls Club is planning its eventual reopening with staff training for the summer program, but the date is uncertain.

“We’re ready for it,” Ander said. “I know our staff is kind of chomping at the bit. We’re ready to get back to some sort of normalcy.”

Proposals for the nonprofit Dueling Pianos fundraiser are due by May 15 and can be submitted to Mandy Anderson, Director of Development for the Boys and Girls Club, at [email protected].