2011 was a busy year for the Project. We finished the year granting wishes and have four families ready to travel the month of January. Seven more families are finishing up their medical treatments and are looking forward to their wish.
We saw a lot of changes in personnel with the Project. In January we said goodbye to Alice O’Donnell, our Butte/Anaconda Coordinator who passed away from her 30 year fight with cancer. Trooper Joe Wyant of Anaconda has taken her place (if anyone can ever take her place). Rhonda Huseby became our new Helena Coordinator when that position was created to fill a need in that area of the state. Trooper Darlene Lee stepped down as Merchandise Coordinator and our very own Trooper Cal Janes has taken over. (As if he doesn’t have enough on his plate). Tiana Hader stepped down from half of her dual role as the Missoula Area Coordinator and Trooper Sean Finley is now in that role. Tiana will continue as the Wish and Reunion Coordinator. Bozeman Area Coordinator Derek Brown has stepped down and Trooper Glen Barcus is now the new Coordinator. This also was Mark Tome’s first year running the Ride 4 Hope by himself and he did a good job. Next year the ride will end in Havre and we have worked a deal with the Town House Inn. The Project lost a great supporter when Alice passed away. Over the eleven plus years working with her, Alice and I became close friends. She was my biggest cheerleader! She allowed me to shoot for the stars on my ideas but would also keep me grounded when needed. Alice was a main stay at the annual Town Pump golf tournament and was honored this year at the first hole. Thank you Town Pump for remembering my friend!
We are still able to provide the critically ill children of Montana their wishes because of the
selflessness of so many individuals and businesses who continue to share our passion. Even though the Hope Project was started and is still sponsored by the Association of Montana Troopers, it truly is a Montana organization that is made up of so many wonderful people. To everyone involved, thank you for your faith and belief in the Project, without you, none of this would be possible.