Help is needed to send some seventh- and eighth-grade students to Washington, D.C. for the Close-Up program.
The second annual Bigfork-to-D.C. educational trip has exploded from nine students in 2011 to 30 this year.
Some of the students need scholarship money to make the trip, said Tara Hoveland, a trip organizer. The trip costs $1,875 per student.
Hoveland’s goal is to raise $9,000 for the students to make what could be a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the nation’s Capitol. So far she’s raised $5,500. Around 15 students need help by March 21, she said. The trip will be made April 21.
Most of the diverse group of students have never been outside the state of Montana, Hoveland said.
The goal of the trip is to educate and inspire young people to become informed and engaged citizens by using Washington, D.C. as a living classroom.
Students will participate in a mock legislative session, meet with their representatives, participate in democracy workshops, visit D.C.’s historic memorials, landmarks and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as Williamsburg and Jamestown, which are located in the Hampton Roads metro area in southeast Virginia.
Several local organizations have already contributed, including: Community Foundation for a Better Bigfork, $1,000; Lady Lions, $1,000; Soroptimists, $1,000; Rotary, $300; and Veterans of Foreign Wars, $200. A number of individuals have also contributed.
Sponsors are needed in any amount up to $1,000. Donations can be made payable to: Bigfork Schools, 435 Grande Dr., No. 156, Bigfork, MT 59911. Note “Washington D.C. Scholarship Fund” on the check.
Fundraisers are also being held to help pay for the trip. These include a “Get Your Irish On!” event at Whistling Andy’s on Tuesday, March 12 and a multi-course wine tasting dinner on Monday, March 18 at ShowThyme.
Those with questions can call Hoveland at 250-9052 or via email at TaraHoveland@gmail.com.