Outdoors

Socially Distanced ‘Hoot from Home’ Fundraiser Supports Whitefish Trail

Following cancellation of annual summer fundraiser, nonprofit Whitefish Legacy Partners fosters support local trails

Following the success of this spring’s “Hit the Trail” challenge, which helped Whitefish Legacy Partners raise more than $26,000 to support local trails, the nonprofit began planning in earnest for its major summer fundraiser, the Whitefish Trail Hootenanny.

The trail challenge allowed supporters to log miles alone or in socially distanced groups. However, the Whitefish Trail Hootenanny has gained popularity as a raucous downtown music festival, and try as they might, organizers couldn’t divine a responsible way to move forward with the event.

“After careful consideration with the City of Whitefish, Flathead City-County Health Department, and event sponsors, Whitefish Legacy Partners (WLP) has decided to cancel the annual Whitefish Trail Hootenanny that had been planned Aug. 21-22,” according to an announcement from WLP.

Because canceling WLP’s major fundraising event for the year will have a big budget impact for the small nonprofit, participants are encouraged to contribute in other ways.

To that end, Whitefish Trail Hootenanny title sponsor First Interstate Bank is committed to supporting Whitefish Legacy Partners this year even without a physical event. Its sponsorship will allow WLP to sell 250 custom ‘“Hoot from Home” pint glasses and host an online raffle to offset WLP’s lost event income.

“A crowded music festival just isn’t appropriate this year, even if it’s for a good cause,” Alan Myers-Davis, WLP director of development, said. “We hope everyone who normally comes out to celebrate the Hootenanny will still support the Whitefish Trail in other ways. Buy raffle tickets or a ‘Hoot from Home’ pint glass or donate to WLP during the upcoming Great Fish Community Challenge. It’s been a busy year for our community trail, and we need all the help we can get.”

WLP is hosting an online raffle to give away two unrestricted, round-trip tickets on Alaska Airlines and a season pass at Whitefish Mountain Resort for the upcoming winter season. Buy one ticket for $5, five tickets for $20, or 30 tickets for $100. Raffle tickets and custom event pint glasses can be purchased at www.whitefishlegacy.org. The raffle winners will be announced on Aug. 21.

Meanwhile, the Great Fish Community Challenge runs from July 30 to Sept. 18 and is also a great way to support WLP and the Whitefish Trail. All participating nonprofits receive a percent match on gifts received during the Challenge. Donations can be made at www.whitefishcommunityfoundation.org.

The Whitefish Trail is the anchor project of Whitefish Legacy Partners, a nonprofit organization, and the result of collaborative partnerships providing public access and recreation while protecting clean water, thriving forests and prime wildlife habitat on open lands in the urban interface of Whitefish. The Whitefish Trail is currently 43 miles accessed by 14 trailheads just steps from town.

For more information, visit www.whitefishlegacy.org or call 406-862-3880 or email info@whitefishlegacy.org.

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