A wall of memoriam, re-exposed on Wednesday, November 4, during ongoing guttural-demolition work inside the former Eagles Lodge located at the corner of Mineral & 2nd Avenue in Libby. Photos courtesy of Thomas Eaker
By Stacy Bender
Discovered during ongoing interior demolition work currently underway inside the former Eagles Lodge of Libby, a memorial once painted upon a foundational concrete wall was re-exposed on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 4, 2020.
A photo of the newly re-discovered memory wall was shared online by Thomas Eaker of Libby who has been actively working at the Mineral Avenue and 2nd Street guttural-demolition site. The image continued to circulate and direct relatives, fellow residents and friends of those memorialized became actively engaged in conversations of days gone by and loved ones lost.
On Thursday, November 5, further removal of the tongue and groove boards, 2X4’s and insulation which once covered the memory wall would reveal the date (1987) and artist’s signature (Todd Berget) painted just above the soaring eagle’s wing.
Noted in memoriam upon the preserved wall were Tim Thomson, Iris Irish Urdahl, Martin Nelson, Harold Thomson, Albert Urdahl, Phil Nelson, John Grimes, Ed Nelson, Lyle Dada Siefke, James F. Gostnell, Rodney C. Gostnell, Tom Johnson, and Howard Loveless.
It is yet unconfirmed how the memorial wall came to fruition, nor at what point the decision was made to cover that original work. Some have noted they believe the names to be those of late Charter Members of the former Eagles Lodge.
Following a slight delay in plans due to some necessary asbestos-remediation discovered, renovations for the former lodge have now resumed and are in full swing according to building owner, Matt Collins. Structural work following the current interior demolition underway is expected to utilize rock, steel and timber beams which will frame a series of large windows to be installed all along the southern side of the building.
Scouting for food; Local Boy Scouts launch annual drive
By Stacy Bender
Members of the Libby Cub Scout Pack #4925 have again launched their Pre-Thanksgiving food drive to support the Libby Food Pantry.
Those looking to help the local scouts, who have collected over 1500 lbs of goods in the past two years, may do so in one of two separate ways:
1) Place donations inside one of three collection boxes located at Rosauers, Ace Hardware and Libby Sports Center on or before Friday, November 13.
2) Place donations to be collected from your home (within Libby) on your porch by 9:00 am, Saturday, November 14. Scouts will collect all home donations that morning. (Due to Covid-19 guidelines currently in place, collection bags were not distributed this year for home pick-ups.)
Those who did not receive this year’s doorstep notices but would like to donate may request a pick-up by contacting Brittani at 291-2905 or email@example.com.
When reached for feedback on ongoing needs, the Libby Food Pantry shared they are currently seeking evaporated (canned) milk, chicken broth and olives to stock the shelves for the coming holiday season.
Elry Hall of Cub Scout Pack #4925 delivers a front-porch notice on Saturday, Nov. 7, to inform his community that his scout pack will be collecting front-porch donations on Saturday, Nov. 14. (Courtesy Photo
“Our Kids” Christmas Drive
Holiday Assistance Applications Now Available; Deadline
Saturday, Nov. 21
By Stacy Bender
Applications are now available for families in need of assistance this Christmas Season throughout Libby and its surrounding areas.
Those wishing to apply may pick up and/or deposit their forms at Diane’s Restaurant located at 201 California Avenue in Libby. Families will be asked to provide a parent contact along with all names, ages, clothing and shoe sizes, three “needs” and three “wishes” (under $30) for each child in their household.
Recent organization of the “Our Kids” 501c3 Christmas Toy Drive came to fruition following a push on social media to ensure holiday help for Libby area families would be readily available this year. In just a week’s time, 18 families have now registered for the program and well over 100-150 are expected to apply.
Donation boxes and money gift cans to support the 2020 “Our Kids” Christmas Drive are currently well-dispersed throughout the Libby area and several more are expected to pop-up in even more local businesses soon. Current drop-sites can be found at: Pure North Athletic Club, Town & Country Property Management, The Shed, Stytches, Good News Christian Books & Music, The Switchback, Ron’s Appliance, Alternative ReLeaf, 4 Paws Pet Retreat, Libby Sports Center, Hav-A-Java, Ward Crushing, Libby Dollar Store, 7 Seeds Coffee House, and Bloom.
Once all applications have been received for this year’s drive, more information on specific donation needs and/or how to become involved in helping with this year’s distribution efforts will become available.
Deadline for family applications to receive support from this year’s program is Saturday, November 21. Donations for the program will continue to be accepted through Saturday, December 12. Distribution to area families in need is tentatively set for Saturday, December 19.
Those wishing to learn more about how to apply for assistance, host an area drop and/or become involved with this year’s collaborative efforts to serve may do so by visiting “Our Kids” Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2862844250663369/). For more direct assistance, please contact Tammy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 293-5041 between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, Mon-Fri.
All are asked to please keep in mind that while “Our Kids” will strive to bring each child at least one wish item from their list provided, some may find alternate gifts within this year’s Christmas deliveries.
Farmers to Families Program ends for Lincoln County
residents after providing fresh produce to locals
By Stacy Bender
“I know how much this program has helped our communities,” said Roxanna Escudero, Volunteer Coordinator for the Lincoln County Food Box Distribution Program which has been handing out thousands of meat, produce, and dairy boxes since mid-summer here in Lincoln County. “I am thankful to have been a part of bringing the Farmers to Families program to our local friends and family alongside an amazing group of volunteers.”
This past Thursday, November 5, Escuedero received a disappointing email from Stephanie Stanley, Chief Programs Officer for the Montana Food Bank Network. “Our Montana distributor for Round 4 of the Farmers to Families program has announced only one truckload of CFAP boxes will remain available for distribution,” Stanley wrote. “We will be routing this one truck per week to the Flathead Food Bank as they are able to receive and distribute a full truck load weekly.”
In an additional email on Saturday, November 7, Stanley addressed concerns from local residents that funding and/or monetary compensation may have been misappropriated within Lincoln County. “Montana Food Bank Network did not receive any grant funding or other financial compensation for organizing Farmers to Families for the State of Montana. The USDA solicited bids and then chose distributors to work with in each phase of the program,” Stanley wrote.
“MFNB had no choice in who was awarded contracts by the USDA. We are, along with our partners and the Montanans who relied on this food, disappointed to no longer be working with one of the previous distributors. Those wishing to provide feedback to the USDA on how the changes to Period 4 of this program have affected your community may do so by contacting the USDA directly: http://ask.usda.gov/s/contactsupport.”
“We at the Montana Food Bank Network strive to provide nutritious food in an equitable manner to those in need statewide and are working to source additional produce to supplement the abrupt end of the Farmers to Families food box program in our area.”
Those seeking immediate nutritional support going forward are encouraged to contact the Libby (293-3332), Troy (295-4206), or Eureka (297-2358) for basic needs and assistance.
For more information on the Lincoln County Food Box Distribution program and how to become involved should future community assistance arrive, please visit LCFBD on Facebook or email Roxanna at email@example.com.