Despite Butte’s small-city feel and humble demeanor, the Butte-Silver Bow area manages to consistently make waves in the news cycle for lending a hand to those who need it most. From shedding light on lesser-known disorders to raising money for Ukrainian refugees, here’s what the people of Butte have been doing to make a local and global impact.
Butte Raises Over $27,000 for Ukrainian Refugees
Time and time again, the people of Butte show up and show out for those in need. This past month, the people of Butte, Montana held a fundraiser at the Knights of Columbus Hall for Ukrainian refugees. The fundraiser was spearheaded by Dr. Mimi Bartoletti, a doctor in Butte who has family in Ukraine. Staying in contact with loved ones has been stressful for Dr. Bartoletti and many others through the invasion of Ukraine. To build hope for herself and others, she organized the Fundraiser for Ukrainian children here in Butte.
Not many people would expect such an outpour of support from a smaller city on the other side of the globe, but that’s what makes Butte so special.
“This was really born out of a need for me to feel like I can make a difference, and I couldn’t think of a better place to do it than Butte, Montana, where I honestly believe everybody in this town has some sort of roots to an immigrant past,” Dr. Bartoletti said. “It’s an issue all of us can relate to whether or not we’re Ukrainian.”
The fundraiser was a huge success, raising more than $27,600 for the people and children of Ukraine. All proceeds from the night go toward the Columbus Children’s Foundation in an effort to help Ukrainian children with pre-existing medical conditions to relocate to Poland with the proper medical attention and resources needed.
Dr. Bartoletti was overjoyed with the support coming from her city. One attendee, Natalya Franchi, is a Ukrainian citizen now living in Butte and was also inspired by the hope the people of Butte carry with them. “Probably the only good thing that came out of this war was to see how the whole world united. It’s crazy how everybody united, I can’t remember any event in recent history that would unite everybody,” and Franchi.
March Madness Fans Fight for a Cure
March Madness attracts the attention of millions of sports fans each and every year. However, what if we used this enthusiasm, time and energy towards those in need? The Butte Country Club is already on it.
Each March, the Butte Country Club invites participants to fill out brackets and place their bids on the NCAA Tournament. Once the tournament is over, a portion of the total funds is donated to cystic fibrosis research. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that often causes breathing and digestion problems.
Since cystic fibrosis only impacts about 30,000 Americans, it often does not receive the attention, funding, and research it requires and deserves.
The first year the Butte Country Club participated in March Madness, they received around $90,000 in bids. However, this year the club saw $278,800 in bids — tripling their original bid collection.
With limited research and resources available to those with cystic fibrosis, Butte’s contribution of tens of thousands of dollars each year is a huge leap in the right direction. The club promises to continue this tradition each year until the cure for cystic fibrosis is found.
More than 1,000 attendees showed their support for the Butte Empty Bowls event this month at the Butte Civic Center. Butte Empty Bowls is the largest fundraiser hosted by the Butte Emergency Food Bank and supports school children who may need food or meals over the weekend.
Attendees at the event selected a ceramic bowl from one of the many local artists here in Butte. There were over 1,300 bowls showcased from more than 60 local artists. Once attendees chose their favorite bowl, they sampled soups from dozens of local businesses and organizations while enjoying live music at the civic center.