Annual gathering and benefit a great success for Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame

Mar 5, 2010
by WLJ

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center (MCHF and WHC) held its Annual Business Meeting, Trustees Gathering and “Circle the Wagons Dinner & Benefit Auction,” Feb. 5-6 in Lewistown, MT. Board members, trustees and supporters gathered from around the state to celebrate Montana’s rich heritage, reflect on the many successes of the past year, and plan for the year to come.

At this year’s annual business meeting, Butch Bratsky of Billings, Megan Helmer of Wolf Point, Tim Larson of Sidney, Gary Metcalf of Bozeman, and Stan Rasmussen of Choteau were elected as the newest members of the board of directors for MCHF and WHC. The board of directors serves as the governing body of MCHF and WHC.

Trustees from across the state went to work at the trustee’s gathering, reviewing candidates nominated for consideration to be inducted in the 2010 Hall of Fame induction class. The final results of the 2010 induction process will be announced the first week in May. Over 115 trustees, organized into 12 districts, represent their local and surrounding communities from across Montana.

The much anticipated “Circle the Wagons Dinner and Benefit Auction” was once again a great success. Montana state Sen. Taylor Brown served as the master of ceremonies for the event. This year’s Montana Heritage Contribution Award went to Montana notable Stan Lynde. A fourth-generation Montanan known for his many talents, Lynde continues to share our Montana heritage with the world through his work as an award winning author and artist. Lynde also held a book signing at the event and donated proceeds from the signing to the MCHF and WHC.

Families and representatives of the 2009 Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame inductions were on hand at this year’s event and were recognized. The formal induction ceremonies and recognition for Hall of Fame inductees and their families will be held once the facility is constructed.

“Though not the formal recognition ceremony that our inductees will receive upon completion of the Hall of Fame facility, we work to honor our inductees and their families as often as we are able,” said Aaron Lyles of MCHF and WHC. “The circle the wagons gathering is a great forum for us to celebrate the many contributions of our inductees.”

MCHG and WHC would like to thank their many sponsors, event organizers, participants and the community of Lewistown for making the event possible.

“It is humbling to see the incredible support and to be a part of this important mission to honor our cowboy way of life, Indian cultures, and our collective Montana heritage,” said Christy Stensland, executive director of

MCHF and WHC. “To see the enthusiasm and grassroots fire continue to grow in every corner of the state is a testament to the stewardship and commitment Montanans have to pass on our great legacy.”

Next year’s trustee gathering and “Circle the Wagons” event will be held in Helena on Feb. 4-5, 2011. To learn more about the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, how to become a trustee, how to nominate a candidate to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, or review the biographies of past inductees, go to www.montanacow or contact MCHF & WHC at 406/ 653-3800. — WLJ