Havre Daily News
Ole and Lena want to “beeootify” your yard this summer while helping to raise funds for the Hill County Community Endowment.
For a $25 donation, residents can place Ole and Lena - a pair of dummies, made with old clothes and plastic bags - in someone else's yard. The dummies look similar to scarecrows and sit atop a wicker loveseat. The pair come with three artificial trees and a sign that says they want to “beeootify” residents' lawns.
Ole and Lena are the spring and summer fundraisers for the HIll County Community Endowment, which was created a decade ago and is worth more than $7,500.
Endowment chair Randy Hanson said he hopes this year is even more successful than last year. Last year, the endowment reached $5,000. The Montana Community Foundation awarded the endowment $2,500, he said, to be used toward local causes.
Hanson said the endowment needs to reach a goal of $10,000 before May 31 in order for the Montana Community Foundation to give it another $5,000 to benefit Hill County causes.
Hanson first displayed Ole and Lena in his yard before moving the pair to the Havre lawn of Faye and Bruce James.
“Aren't they adorable?” Faye James said of the dummies on Monday evening.
Hanson's wife, Val, said the clothing and props for the pair came from endowment members' attics and from garage sales. She said the dummies cost about $3 to make.
Should Ole and Lena appear at your doorstep, and you never want them to return, $50 will ensure that no one else can place them in your yard for the rest of the summer, Randy Hanson said.
The endowment committee won't put Ole and Lena into someone's yard without notice or without asking, he added.
“Just because someone pays to put them in someone else's yard doesn't mean we will without permission from the owner,” Hanson said.
He added that Ole and Lena aren't this year's only endowment fundraiser. He said the committee also took part in the garage sale held at the Atrium Mall last month and that all next month, they will operate a hamburger stand at Gary & Leo's IGA. A raffle, special evening events, a letter campaign and other fundraisers are planned.
Hanson said the committee hopes to eventually have enough funds to provide large grants to projects around the county. This year, the endowment committee will be approving grants for projects improving art and culture, basic human needs and community beautification in Hill County. The grants won't be disbursed until September, Randy Hanson said.
Last year, Hanson said, grants were given to Court-Appointed Special Advocates of Hill County, which used the money to put together “Kid Kits” for children who are relocated to their homes and are unable to take anything with them; the Havre-Hill County Library for updating software for genealogy research; North Star Booster Club to bring Missoula Children's Theatre to the Hi-Line; Hingham Economic Development Association for use toward the purchase of playground equipment for a local park; and the Hill County Emergency Services, which used the money to purchase a power unit to operate Jaws of Life equipment.
Residents who want to place Ole and Lena in someone's yard can call the Hansons at 265-5072 or call Al Buete at 265-5530.