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CFVH Foundation gala entertains

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

by Alex Violo, Clark Fork Valley Press

Traditional bluegrass music filled the air as a brisket dinner, accompanied by fresh dinner rolls was served up to attendees at the annual CFVH foundation gala.

On the eve of Plains Day, the Fairgrounds Pavilion played host to the dinner and evening gala, the proceeds of which benefitted the Clark Fork Valley Hospital Foundation.

The event, originally scheduled for March, had to be postponed due to one of the many late snowstorms Sanders County experienced at the end of the winter.

However, the unexpected delay seemed to benefit the CFVH Foundation, as the evening of Friday, June 6 was warm and pleasant, helping to draw a large crowd to the event.

Barry Fowler, executive director of the CFVH Foundation, noted he was pleased with the turnout as he welcomed attendees to the event and introduced the evening's entertainment.

The entertainment consisted of live music from two bands performing together.

The bands, Montana Rose and Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars, performed as one group due to logistic complications imposed by the aforementioned March snowstorm.

The lead singer of Montana Rose, Claudia Williams, was originally slated to perform with the rest of her band at the gala. However, with the change in date, her band was unable to make the June event, but fortunately Tessy Lou's group was, and the tandem put on quite a show.

When Fowler introduced the group to the gala attendees he quoted a radio broadcaster from Montana Public Radio to describe the style of the evening's musicians.

"That bluegrass was thick," Fowler said, before turning the microphone over to the band.

Volunteers cleared an area for dancing to the band's bluegrass style music, but only the youngest members of the audience, children accompanying their parents, had the guts to go in front of the crowd and show off their moves.

When the band took a set break halfway through the gala, Fowler began to run an old-fashioned pie auction to raise funds for the CFVH Foundation.

"The best pie-makers in the valley contributed," Fowler said.

The auction was quite successful with some pies going for nearly $100 and one lucrative deal to get three pies made by a local expert, also drew a large sum of money.

The crowd had fun with the event too with spouses looking to one another and joking with others in attendance before placing their bids.

Once the pie auction was concluded the combined groups of Montana Rose and Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars, began playing once more.

The musicians hardly missed a beat and were clearly in stride with one-another as they entertained the hospital's supporters.

The annual gala is used by the hospital to finance specific projects throughout the hospital.

The event is in its third year of featuring dinner and a show to those willing to give back to the local healthcare center.

The CFVH also holds their main fundraiser later in the summer.

This event, a golf tournament, has been going on for years, and is used to keep the hospital running at full capacity.

Following the brisket dinner, pie auction, and lovely entertainment the gala ended another successful evening at the fairgrounds.

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