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Giving Big in downtown Three Forks

In what was truly an amazing night for the Three Forks community, area residents made their way downtown on May 2 for the inaugural Give Big Three Forks Main Street Kickoff event.

As part of the One Valley Community Foundation's 10th annual Give Big Gallatin Valley event, eight Three Forks area nonprofits hosted booths to raise money and introduce and educate the community about their mission and goals.

The eight participating nonprofits in 2024 were the Headwaters Trail System, Headwaters Area Food Bank, Mason Moore Foundation, Three Forks Area Historical Society, Three Forks Area Ambulance Service, Three Forks Volunteer Firefighters, Three Forks Education Foundation, and Trooper David DeLaittre Memorial Park.

Among those in attendance at the May 2 event was One Valley Community Foundation President and CEO Bridget Wilkinson.

"We are so excited about the community support of the Gallatin Valley and all the community members coming out to support the local nonprofits in Three Forks. As we all know, our nonprofit community throughout Gallatin County provides so many of the pieces of the quality of life that make communities like Three Forks such a special place to live in. We're just grateful for the support," Wilkinson said.

According to Wilkinson, the mission of the One Valley Community Foundation is to connect people who care to causes that matter to ensure all can thrive in Gallatin County.

As of Tuesday morning, the 2024 Give Big Gallatin Valley event has raised $3,104,649, with 5,951 donors supporting 273 local organizations through 12,843 gifts.

"Give Big is really a beautiful expression of us wanting to support nonprofit communities throughout Gallatin County," said Wilkinson. "Give Big is a great opportunity to celebrate the nonprofit organizations that make Three Forks unique."

Teri Howey with the Three Forks Education Foundation said having the event locally was an excellent opportunity for residents to see all the wonderful foundations and nonprofits.

With the foundation currently working on scholarships, Howey discussed the importance of fundraising and said they are always looking for more help and volunteers.

"I'm not sure everybody realizes how much we give back. We give back not only to the graduating seniors who will go off into education but also to our teachers. And that helps when our teacher budgets are really tight. It gives teachers an opportunity to be able to purchase supplies," she said.

Headwaters Trail System Chairman Gene Townsend said that with many new people in town, it's good to get out at an event like this so people can see some faces associated with the organization.

According to Townsend, they are working on extending the trail system to the east and partnering with the Manhattan Trail System. He said they recently received a grant to do a feasibility study, which would allow them to apply for new infrastructure grants.

Townsend added that they will also be doing more paving towards the east this year, more maintenance, and recently placed exercise equipment at the Three Forks Ponds, which was purchased with funding from an AARP grant.