Toys for Tots toy drive
Now collecting new toys through Toys for Tots – local donations stay local! Look for boxes at these locations: Hamilton – Walgreens, Murdoch’s, The Edge Restaurant/Hamilton Liquor, First Interstate Bank, Me & Mom, Hamilton Assembly of God, IGA, Albertson’s, Quizno’s, Valley Veterans Organization; Corvallis – Corvallis Drug, Ravalli County Bank, Corvallis Primary School; Florence – Farmers State Bank, Gary & Leo’s, Florence Schools, Florence-Carlton Chiropractic, Ace Hardware, Glenn’s Café, Florence Boutique; Stevensville – Farmers State Bank, Rocky Mountain Bank, Valley Drug, Full Moon Saloon, High Country Club, Ravalli County Bank, Stevensville Elementary, Lone Rock School, Three Mile Store; Victor – Farmers State Bank, Victor Mercantile, Cowboy Troy’s, Victor School. Donate online at stevensville-mt.toysfortots.org. For more information, contact Leah Duke, 493-4293.
Stevi Christmas Share Tree
The Stevensville Christmas Share Tree needs your help! Tags (children) are available for adoption and donations are needed. Each tag represents a child in the community who needs warm clothing for Christmas. Donations can be sent to Acts of Kindness, P.O. Box 677, Stevensville MT 59870. Contact Beth Perkins at 207-5748 for more information.
The Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce that Santa’s Mailbox is located at the Chamber, 105 East Main in Hamilton, for kids of all ages to drop off their letters to Santa. All letters will be answered so remember to put a return mailing address on the letters along with first and last names.
SAFE Giving Tree
SAFE (Supporters of Abuse Free Environments) is sponsoring the Annual Holiday Giving Tree for Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing and Outreach residents. Each family has ornaments on the tree asking for gifts they cannot afford to provide for their families. Anyone interested in helping a family who has been affected by domestic violence is invited to choose an ornament from the tree and return a gift unwrapped or in gift bags by December 19th. Return the gift to the SAFE on First Thrift Store, located in Hamilton behind Verizon Wireless. SAFE on First is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call Connie at 363-2793 for more information.
Polar Express Bitterroot
Polar Express Bitterroot is in need of individuals to help low income families for the holidays. Individuals may provide gifts for children, meals for families, gift cards for families, gas cards, etc. Contact Polar Express Bitterroot at 821-0000 if you are able to help out.
Soroptimist candy sale
The Soroptimist See’s Candy sale has been extended to Tuesday, December 24th. The See’s Candy mobile is located in the parking lot of First Security Bank in Hamilton.
Soroptimist gift wrapping
Soroptimist International of Hamilton offers gift wrapping by donation daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through December 23 and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, December 24 at K-mart. Proceeds help support local women’s and girls’ educational and health programs.
St. Mary’s Parish luminary event
St. Mary’s Parish will sponsor the 2nd annual “Light the Way” Luminary Christmas Eve event on Tuesday, December 24. Luminary Lighting (lunch sack brown paper bags, weighted with sand and with a candle) is planned for rows along both sides of the bike path from Highway 93 to downtown Stevensville with additional lights on downtown corner bump-outs and on the way to St. Mary’s Church. Bags and candles are being offered to individuals, families and businesses by the parish group for a suggested donation. All donations go toward youth activities at St. Mary’s Parish.
This year’s efforts include “A-Buck-A-Bag” sold at pre-Christmas events in the parish where individuals could purchase and decorate the bags in any seasonal celebratory manner. On Christmas Eve the Luminary Crews will assemble the Luminary Bags including lighting and placement along the bike path or downtown on behalf of the business sponsors. The Luminary Crew will also pick up bags following the Christmas Eve display.
Assembly of bags will begin on Christmas Eve day at 2 p.m. and once placed and lit, the luminaries should burn throughout the night. Many positive and enthusiastic remarks last year encouraged the repeat of “Light The Way.” Those out and about on Christmas Eve night are encouraged to view the beautiful lighting.
For more information or to participate, contact Kristin Turek at 239-3378 or 777-0006.
Wednesday, December 18
Due to school Christmas programs, the Three Mile Community/Senior Center will hold a bingo night on Wednesday, December 18 at 7 p.m. at 1064 Three Mile Creek Road, northeast of Stevensville. Have fun, enjoy good company, and help raise funds to build a new center. Bingo will continue every first and third Tuesday through the winter. For information call 777-3710.
Thursday, December 19
Come to the “Brown Bag It” Book Discussion Group at the Bitterroot Public Library on Thursday, December 19 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. for the annual book selection and potluck. Newcomers are warmly welcomed. For more information contact the library at 363-1670.
Back Country Horsemen
Bitter Root Back Country Horsemen host their monthly meeting on Thursday, December 19, at the Corvallis School Cafeteria on Eastside Highway in Corvallis. Potluck dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. and the general meeting starts at 7:00. The annual membership drive will take place, and all members who have paid their dues for 2014 are eligible to win raffle prizes. Planning starts now for 2014 projects, so bring your suggestions for trails to work on next year. Guests are welcome, and for more information call Karen at 961-0101 or check the website at www.bchmt.org/bitterroot.
An ‘Ugly Sweater – Dirty Santa’ Party will be held Sunday, December 22 starting at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Owen Inn, 3854 Hwy 93, Stevensville. There will be a potluck dinner, games and prizes (ugliest sweater gets a trophy), Dirty Santa gift exchange (optional), photo booth and food and toy drive. Human food will be given to Pantry Partners food bank. Animal food will go to The Dakota Foundation. Toys will be given to Bitterroot Youth Homes. The Woolybuggers will provide live music.
Friday, December 20
BPL Play Time for Kids
Young children are invited to meet in the children’s corner of the Bitterroot Public Library on Friday, December 20 at 10:30 a.m. to enjoy a special play time during story time. Open-ended play activities encourage language development and problem solving skills. Play/Story time is designed for children 3-5 years of age. All story times are free and open to the public.
North Valley Pachyderm Club
The North Valley Pachyderm Club will meet Friday, December 20 at 12 noon at the Frontier Café, Hwy 93 in Stevensville. This will be the Christmas Lunch with a white elephant gift exchange and installation of 2014 officers. The North Valley Pachyderm Club is an educational arm of the Republican Party. All are welcome.
NVPL Holiday Music
North Valley Public library will present for your holiday enjoyment a holiday celebration sing along with Kendal Norris on the piano and Deb Goslin on vocals. Kendal is a freelance writer/editor, educator, pianist, and songwriter. She has lived in all four corners of the US and several places in-between, never tiring of expanding her circle of friends and experiencing new adventures. Kendal’s personal philosophy: “Life is a classroom of lessons in love, loss, truth and growth.” The performance will be held Friday, December 20 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. If you care to share homemade sweets and savories, they would be appreciated! Admission is free and all ages are welcome. North Valley Public Library is located at 208 Main Street, Stevensville. For more information, call the library at 777-5061.
Saturday, December 21
“Gifts of the Season,” a free concert to celebrate the season, will be held Saturday, December 21 at 8 p.m. at the Hamilton Performing Arts Center at Hamilton High School, 327 Fairground Road, Hamilton. Relax and enjoy an evening of holiday music with the Montana A Cappella Society and guitarist, singer, songwriter John Floridis. Bring your guests, family and friends and unwind to much-loved favorites as well as delightful new songs. From toe tapping sparkling tunes to sacred carols of the past, there is something to enchant everyone! The A Capella Society is providing this free concert to the community as a way of saying thank you for being friends, neighbors and fans. Although the concert is free, tickets are recommended – this event was standing room only last year. Tickets are available at Big Creek Coffee and The Music Box in Hamilton or call for more information, 363-5778.
Darby Solstice Celebration
Darby solstice celebration will take place Saturday, December 21 at the Darby Skating Rink starting at 3 p.m. Reflect on the year with skating, gratitude, friends and fun at the annual Solstice Celebration. Open skate is from 3 to 7 p.m. (skate shack will be open; skates available for loan.) The Chili Cook Off and Chili Feed starts at 4 p.m. Show off your favorite chili recipe in the Chili Cook Off. Chili chefs should bring a crockpot of chili by 4 p.m. for the judging and then share with the crowd for the chili feed. There will be a Solstice Spiral at dark and new this year is the Jingle Bell Run! Solstice luminary run starts at 5 p.m. Sign ups will be at 4:15 p.m. at the starting line at Darby High School. The run will go through town and end at the Darby ice skating rink where there will be hot chocolate, chili, and ice skating. Run fee is $10. For more information contact Lisa at 369-5050.
Sunday, December 22
Golden Age dance
Come down to the Golden Age Club at 727 S. 5th St. in Hamilton for their winter scheduled dance band on Sunday, December 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. The event is non-alcohol and non-smoking. Potluck snacks will be served at the music break. Cost is $3.00 a person. Call 406-240-9617 for more information.
Monday, December 23
There will be no meetings of the Hamilton Rotary Club on Mondays, December 23 and December 30. The next meeting will be Monday, January 6 at 12 noon at BJ’s Restaurant, 900 N. 1st Street, Hamilton. For further information call 777-3054.
Tuesday, December 24
Lutheran Christmas services
Our Savior Lutheran Church, Stevensville, invites the community to receive the joyous message of God’s gift of the Christmas child, our Savior Jesus Christ. Tuesday’s 4 p.m. early Christmas Eve service is followed at 10 p.m. by a candlelight service with readings and songs. Christmas Day’s festival service with the Sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 25.
The public is also invited to join the Our Savior carolers at the church on Friday, December 27 at 5 p.m. Those who would love to be caroled may call the church to leave your name and address. Consider a novel way to celebrate the New Year. Join members of the congregation on Tuesday, December 31 at 6 p.m. for a potluck, a short Vespers service and a family game night.
Our Savior, located at 184 Pine Hollow Road, is affiliated with the Lutheran Church––Missouri Synod. To find the church, head south from Stevensville on the Eastside Highway. Turn east at Pine Hollow, the next major intersection past Middle Burnt Fork Road. Cross the tracks and the canal, and the church will be on your left, marked by three crosses.
Christmas Eve services
Rev. David Blackwell, pastor, invites you to Caroling and Candle Lighting services on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Florence Carlton Community Church, 20075 Old Hwy 93 S., Florence. Call 273-6811 for more information.
Christmas Eve service
Conner Wesleyan Conner Wesleyan Church would like to invite the community to a Christmas Eve candlelight and communion service on Tuesday, December 24 at 6 p.m. The church is located on Hwy 93, seven miles south of Darby and one mile north of Conner.
Saturday, December 28
Stevi Christmas Bird Count
Bitterroot Audubon will sponsor the 49th annual Stevensville Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 28. Birders of any skill level are invited to participate, since the emphasis is on having fun and learning more about birds and their habitats, in addition to collecting valuable scientific data. The Stevensville count is typically one of the largest in Montana, both in terms of number of participants and number of bird species seen.
Birders can participate in the Count in two ways. Field observers can gather in the basement conference room of the Stevensville Ranger Station (88 Main Street) between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m. on December 28th to form small teams that search portions of the count circle. This is a great way for beginners to learn about birds from experienced birders.
Feeder watchers stay at home part or all of the day and count the birds on their own property, as long as the land is within the Count circle (a 7.5-mile radius circle centered on the Ranger Station). New feeder watchers are especially needed to replace some that have moved away over the past few years. Both groups contribute valuable data and help make the Count successful. Either way, participants can spend as much or as little time as they have available that day.
Call Count organizer Dave Lockman at 777-2929 or 381-7679 for additional information.