Havre Daily News
Musicians gathered in Havre on Sunday and raised more than $4,600 for one of their own.
The “Jam for Stan” benefited Kremlin farmer and musician Stan Wall and his wife, Claudia.
Wall had his left leg amputated above the knee at Loma Linda University Hospital in California recently. The couple has insurance, and the money raised will be used to defray living expenses. Wall is recovering at his son's house in Southern California.
Leo Beardsley, one of the event organizers, said this morning that the community opened its hearts and checkbooks to a family in need.
“We're at $4,600 and counting,” he said. “I think we'll top $4,700.”
The top item in the silent auction was a mounted duck from Steve Faechner, of the Academy of Real Life Taxidermy. It sold for $400.
“We are just thrilled. This community really came together,” Beardsley said. “We had some wonderful donations for silent auction. The bands did great. It was a tremendous success.”
Kathleen Hodges, who also helped organize the event, said she was impressed with the turnout.
“It went very very well,” she said. “It was just wonderful. We just had a huge, huge turnout. The music was great and everyone had a really great time,” she added.
Wall is well-known locally as a musician and mandolin builder, so it seemed fitting that a group of local musicians should pool their time and talent to put on a benefit for Stan and Claudia, Beardsly has said.
A mix of country, bluegrass, Irish, and gospel musicians joined a barbershop quartet in the Montana State University-Northern Student Union Building Ballroom to support Wall. The musicians included: Hi-Line Cowboy Symphony, Blue Paw Bear Grass, A Thorn Among the Roses, The Old Time Fiddlers, Strings of Praise, Steve Hughes and the Shiftless Drifters, Bullhook Bottoms Barbershop Chorus, Big Sandy Strings, and Larry Birchaw of Gildford.
The Walls drove to Southern California three months ago to visit their son Nate and his wife. By the time they arrived, Stan was experiencing a lot of pain in his legs. The next morning, Nate, who is a research scientist at Loma Linda University, took his father to the emergency room where Stan was diagnosed with aneurysms in both legs.
Beardsley said the surgeons attempted a bypass procedure on the left leg, and when that failed the only option left was amputation. After Stan had recovered sufficiently from that procedure, a successful bypass was performed on the right leg. Wall is recuperating at his son's home with his wife while undergoing physical therapy and getting fitted with a prosthetic leg.