Havre Daily News
Ole and Lena have been spotted in Rudyard in the front yard of the superintendent of North Star Schools.
As the deadline quickly approaches for the Hill County Community Endowment Committee to obtain its matching goals for the Montana Community Endowment Fund, the committee has become more visible and stepped up efforts.
The endowment must raise $5,000 in new funds by Wednesday in order to receive $5,000 more from the state endowment to use for community causes in Hill County. This year, the group has raised between $1,200 and $1,500, endowment committee chair Randy Hanson said today.
Ole and Lena, the summer fund-raising idea for the endowment, traveled to Rudyard a little more than a week ago. In addition to the travels of the pair of dummies made from stuffed plastic bags, Hanson said he mailed letters informing residents of the Joker's Ball last week.
Hanson said the Joker's Ball - an event that invites people to just stay home for the evening - created quite a stir.
“People are having fun with it,” he said. He added that many people are asking him and other committee members what they're supposed to wear to the ball.
“The Jokers Ball isn't about getting dressed up,” Hanson said. The whole idea, he added, is to stay home and do nothing, which most people aren't very often able to do, especially at this time of the year.
“No sitter, no dressing or messing with your hair, no shoes required as you needn't be there,” the letter said.
There's no set price to participate.
“Whatever you are comfortable with donating,” he said.
Hanson said the committee created the fundraiser with the idea of not getting in the way of other events.
“We were trying to find something that won't be competing with other things, yet it is a major event,” he said.
Hanson said to donate, just put a check or money order made out to the Hill County Community Endowment in the envelope provided with the letter and mail it in. Donors will receive a letter to use for tax purposes.
The endowment committee is exploring other ways to make the Jokers Ball better for next year. Perhaps, Hanson said, next year the committee will make tickets or posters to send out so people donating have memorabilia from the ball. Hanson said people who didn't receive the letter should give him a call and leave their name and address with him so he can send more out. The committee sent the letter originally to about 230 people.
“If others are interested, we will sent it,” Hanson said. “Make sure to give us your name and address.”
The committee also hosted a barbeque at Gary & Leo's Fresh Foods IGA last weekend that netted more than $300.
“There were farmers and ranchers from out on the Hi-Line,” he said. “Residents of the Rocky Boy's and the Fort Belknap indian reservations participated, and a couple of young Canadians, too, that were a hoot.”
Ole and Lena have still been traveling.
People can pay a $25 donation to have the dummies placed in someone else's yard.
Hanson said that on Tuesday Ole and Lena traveled to the front yard of Jack and Bev Holter in Rudyard. Twila Grant of Rudyard said she saw the pair and thought they were funny, and asked the Holters how they got there.
“I thought they were the cutest thing in the whole world,” Grant said. “Graduation morning they showed up. Everyone had a chuckle when (Holters) pulled into my yard before graduation.”
Twila's husband is North Start Superintendent Terry Grant.
Twila Grant said the pair takes up the whole front yard, but because it is a fundraiser she doesn't mind.
“They take up my whole yard, but it is for a good cause,” she said. “I'll let them stay until probably Tuesday, then I'll ship them off.”
To contact Hanson, call him at work at 262-9579, at home at 265-5072 or email him at email@example.com.
The committee hopes to reach its goal of $5,000 by May 31.