Local Choirs Praised for Performances in Northern Idaho

Submitted by Stacy Bender

Throughout each schoolyear students from both Libby and Troy gather to work collectively in song towards a greater goal.  As one student so eloquently put it following their most recent trip to Northern Idaho, “I like that we all worked together to listen but also at the same time have fun!” This year’s annual trip to join the National Initiative “Music in the Parks,” hosted by Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, ID, provided a platform for the Libby Middle School Honors Choir, the Children’s Select Choir, and the Community Youth Choir to showcase those collective efforts. Under the leadership of Libby Middle/High School Choral Director, Lorraine Braun,  secondary and elementary classrooms have welcomed students across Libby and Troy – public and privately schooled students, homeschooled students, students from elementary to secondary stages of education – to raise their voices during both scheduled and after school hours.

Each Tuesday, anywhere from 20-60 area youth members  from elementary to middle school come together as the Libby Children’s Select Choir. On Thursdays, the Community Youth Choir welcomes about two dozen middle and high school students.  The Libby Middle School Honors Choir meets regularly during scheduled educational hours. “I love that I get to spend time with my friends,” shared one student from the LHS choir room on April 6 as the Community Youth Choir held practice. “It’s my outlet!” shared another with an undeniable exuberance in their voice, going on to express the freedom they feel from the daily weight of life as a teen in today’s world.  All young voices seem to report finding a perfect balance of true fellowship and sound effort rewarded. All choirs participate in multiple school and community concerts each year.  As the journey unfolds, members are also charged with helping to drive special fundraising for the unique travel experience each Spring to perform at “Music in the parks.”

This has become a tradition now rooted in nearly two decades of storied performances and awards for the local choirs. Each trophy garnered a reminder of how each ensemble has sharpened their musical skills, worked together as a team, and represented their community in a positive light. The 2023 trophies awarded to this year’s local vocalists in their respective categories included 1st Place to the Libby Children’s Select Choir, 1st Place to the Community Youth Choir, and 2nd Place to the Libby Middle School Honors Choir.  “These awards are special,” shared Mrs.Braun, “as our students are adjudicated by professors of music from Universities across the NW. I am so proud of each and every one of them.”  To learn more about the year-round opportunities which these choirs provide for all South Lincoln County Youth, please contact Lorraine Braun at braunl@libbyschools.org.  All are welcomed to audition, participation is free of charge.


Photo left, Libby Children’s Select Choir – 1st Place. Photo middle, Libby Middle School Honors Choir Performs. Photo Right, Libby Middle School Honors Choir Performs

Winners 21st Annual Fishing Derby Koocanusa Resort and Marina

Submitted by Koocanusa Resort and Marina

The winners of the 21st Annual fishing derby, which was held May 20-21, 2023 at Koocanusa Resort and Marina, Display their catches. From Left: Jeff Miller, first place rainbow trout, 6 pounds 5 ounces, won $1,843; Rob Dearman, second place rainbow trout, 6 pounds 2 ounces, won $1,316; Mike Babbit third place rainbow trout, 5 pounds 3 ounces, won $1,052; Brenda McCully fourth place rainbow trout, 4 pounds 9 ounces won $526; Dave Chichester fifth place rainbow trout, 4 pounds 4.8 ounces won $316; James Butts sixth place rainbow trout, 4 pounds 4.0 ounces won $210. The Kokanee are combined weight of 20. First place went to Brenda Stark with 4 pounds 3 ounces 5 grams she won $658.00, Second place went to Jon Olsen with 4 pounds 3 ounces 3 grams he won $395, and third place went to Kristy Whitney with 4 pounds 0 ounces she won $262.40. We had a total of 329 people and 120 boats.  We would like to thank these businesses for their donations: Randy Burch at Koocanusa Resort and Marina, Timber Line Auto Sales, Kootenai truck repair, Rosita’s, The Switch Back Bar & Grill,Shoe Fly Fishing Co., Northwest Motor Sports,  Country Inn, Riddel Chiropractic,Panda Chinese, Ski Haus, Pop’s Vapor Shop, Homesteader’s, Ace Hardware, Western Building Center, Les Schwab, Montana Power Products, Big Ski Lumber, Snappy’s, Jones Electric, Plug-It,  Dianne Restaurant, Alpine Precision, Car Quest, Fix Coffee Libby Sports Center, Pizza Hut, Rosauers, Napa Auto, Pepco, Kaya Rustic Chic Creations, Dream Marine CHS, Moore Oil, High Spirits Liquor Store, Tim and Judy Baxter, and Melissa Libbers. Thank you all again for coming out and joining us for our annual 21st fishing derby.

Memorial Day Ceremony at the Troy Cemetery 5514 VFW Post and Auxiliary

Bearly a Break in Non-Stop Sharing and Caring

Submited by Cyrus Lee

A United States Marine Corps theme bear said hi and thanks Libby veteran Clarence Johnson during a Memorial Day activity.  The little Marine will buddy up with Clarence, and maybe join in with a few other vets who live at the Libby Care Center. On Tuesday our little representative from Washington State Penitentiary joined Bears ‘n Stuff board member Pastor Karen Disney in presenting a $500 donation to the Libby Food Pantry.

The bears have been out and about at the Farmers’ Markets in Libby and Troy letting folks know how they can make a difference for kids and for their community while spreading bear hugs.  Bears ‘n Stuff dens cuddly little bears as well as inmate-created paintings, wood, fabric, bead, and other art through donations, silent auctions, and raffles.  Come meet and den a bear.  Hear the story of how a dead end has become the main street for the guys at ‘The Wall’ as they make a difference for our community.

Catch a great video about the Sustainable Practices Lab, where the bears and other things come from, and the KPAX newscast, from last year, that tells our local side of the story on our Bears n Stuff Facebook page.

Mental Health and Wellness Day

Submitted by Troy High School

Students in the Psychology class of Troy High School initiated their first Mental Health Wellness Day on Tuesday, May 30. Special thanks to Victoria and Nino from NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) in Kalispell, Ann Marie from Nate Chute Foundation in Kalispell and Sarah and Trista from the Community Health Center in Libby for providing education and support. In addition, special thanks to the students from the Psychology class for their work and dedication!