A ranching accident has become tied together with work to build a new branch of the Chouteau County Library in Big Sandy.
Marla Ray of Big Sandy, one of the community members in a local library committee working on raising funds for the construction of the new building, said Russ Allderdice’s injury sustained while working cattle could have set back plans on the library.
Allderdice had offered to tear down the former Kaste Department Store in Big Sandy, which Janis Kaste Kaiser donated to the county to be used for the location of a new library.
His injuries sustained in an ATV crash June 16 while he was separating bulls on his ranch — Allderdice was hospitalized for injuries including a broken pelvis and collar bone, as well as blood clots around his lungs — could have delayed plans, but Ray said that, after a meeting, community members have stepped up to take care of the work.
A large group at a meeting in June signed up to tear down the building Thursday of this week, with Ray saying the group agreed that, with a large amount of heavy equipment involved, children probably should not be at the site.
Daren Schuster and Colby Baumgarn have volunteered to head up that demolition and cleanup. A bible study group, known as “The Magnificent Seven,” will provide cookies and water for the volunteers at the demolition.
The group at the meeting also set up a fundraiser to help the Allderdice family, including Russ, his wife, Nicole, and their three children, Stacy, Tosha and Owen, in seventh grade, fifth grade and kindergarten, respectively.
A benefit and auction is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Friday, July 25, at Big Sandy City Hall. Ray said Mint Bar and Cafe owner Tammie Houle is donating meat for the dinner at the benefit, and Shane Ophus volunteered his services as an auctioneer.
Gwen Ophus can be contacted at 378-2666 for information about the meal and how people can help, and people can contact Marie Jappe at 386-2429 about donating items for the auction and raffles and to help with the event.
Ray said donations can be dropped off at Wells Fargo Bank and an account also has been set up there into which people can make cash donations to help the family.
Volunteers also have helped and continue to help the Allderdices at their ranch and preparing for Russ Allderdice’s return, including building a ramp and deck with handicap access.
The library committee organized a process for local farmers to help out with the library fundraiser. Ray said farmers can donate the proceeds of sales of grain to the fundraiser, with just a few bushels here and a few bushels there making a major difference, she said.
The fundraiser started last Tuesday, July 1, and runs through June 2015.
The elevators that have confirmed participating in the "Bushels for Bucks" fundraiser are ADM CHS in Big Sandy and Havre, Columbia Grain in Havre, Carter and Fort Benton, Central Montana Co-op at Kershaw, EGT in Carter and Montana Flour and Grain at Fort Benton.
Ray said the staff members at the elevators should have all the information needed if someone wants to donate proceeds of grain sales to the library, and for more information people can contact her at email@example.com or 378-2606.