2021 Heritage Days: The Way We Were

The community celebration began in 1956 to mark the prosperity brought about by industrial expansion, which included the railroad, lumber business, and the Anaconda Aluminum Company.

Freedom Bank is honored to be a part of Columbia Falls’ growth over the past 16 years. Just like many of our customers, Freedom Bank is a small local business. To participate in this community and to be able to support and watch it grow has been inspiring.

Look for Freedom Bank in the parade down Nucleus Avenue on Saturday, July 24th at 12:00 pm. After the parade, roughly at 1:30 pm, Freedom Bank sponsors a Wild Horse Drive down Highway 2 from Columbia Heights to the Blue Moon. We are also a main sponsor of the Open Rodeo at the Blue Moon Arena, a team and prize sponsor for the 3 on 3 basketball tournament, and a sponsor of the Columbia Falls Community Market at the Coop.

Heritage Days is an adventure and celebration for the whole family. Take a look at the complete schedule below or visit the official website here: http://cfallsheritagedays.com/index.html

Wednesday – July 21, 2021

  • 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – 12th Annual Car Show at Marantette Park.

Thursday – July 22, 2021

  • 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Columbia Falls Community Market at the Coop
  • FREE Open Swimming at Pinewood Park Pool.
    • 6:30 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. Adults and kids to 12 years old
    • 8:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Adults and kids 13+ years old

Friday – July 23, 2021

  • 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Wildcat/kat Athletic Endowment
  • 5:30 p.m. – Wildcat/kat Athletic Endowment Auction and BBQ
    Marantette Park in Columbia Falls.

    •  5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. BBQ and Social Hour. $5.00 per plate
    • 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Raffles
    • 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Live Auction
    • 8:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Beer Garden
  • 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Lion’s Club Concert at Marantette Park.
  • 7:00 p.m. – Open Rodeo at the Blue Moon Arena northeast corner of Hwy. 2 and 40, just behind the Blue Moon Bar & Grille

Saturday – July 24, 2021

  • 7:00 a.m. – Firemen’s Breakfast at Don Anderson Fire Hall, 624 1st Ave. West.
  • 8:00 a.m. – Boogie-to-the-Bank 5k & 10k Run. North Fork to Discovery Square . Contact Ashley Campbell at 406-751-4758 for more information.
  • 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Arts, Crafts, Food Vendors and activities for the kids at Marantette Park.
  • 10:00 a.m. – Class Reunions meet to participate in parade. (See your Class contact person for more info.)
  • 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – North Valley Senior Center Fund Raiser Luncheon.
    (salads, sandwiches, pies and beverages)
  • 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. enjoy the North Valley High Steppers line dancing demonstration
    For more information call the Center at 406-892-4087. The Center is located at 205 Nucleus Avenue.
  • 12:00 p.m. – Main Parade on Nucleus Avenue (Railroad Street to 7th Street West). Parade participants will stage along Railroad Street at the north end of Nucleus Ave. at 11:00 a.m.
  • 1:30 p.m. – Freedom Bank’s Wild Horse Drive on Hwy. 2 from Columbia Heights to the Blue Moon.
  • 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. – CFHS Class of 1981 40th Reunion – at Eagles 4081 Columbia Falls
  • 7:00 p.m. – Open Rodeo at the Blue Moon Arena northeast corner of Hwy. 2 and 40, just behind the Blue Moon Grille

Sunday – July 25, 2021

  • 7:00 a.m. – 20th Annual WAEA Wildcat/kat Athletic Endowment Golf Scramble  – Meadow Lake Golf Course – Columbia Falls, Mont.
    Pre-registration and payment is highly encouraged due to limited teams.

    • Format: 4 person scramble – all skill levels invited
    • Start: 8:00 a.m. Shotgun Start
    • Rules: USGA rules govern play
    • Tees: Men play the WHITE tees, Women play the RED tees
    • Field: Number of teams are limited to 36 with a max. of 4 players per team
    • Handicaps: Callaway System
    • Cost: $100.00 per player for 18 holes of golf, lunch and hole prizes. Register by July 14, 2021 with the Meadow Lake Pro Shop (406)892-2111

MAVERICK BENCH – MARCH 2021 HOMETOWN HERO

Don Bennett with Logan and Colleen Bench and the nominator, Megan Luce

We are honored to announce Maverick Bench as our second Hometown Hero. “He brought our community together during his battle of aplastic anemia. He had such a big soul and big heart for those around him. He is the perfect person to be honored as our hometown hero.”  Megan Luce wrote in her early March nomination of Maverick. The astronomical number of votes for Maverick support that statement.

What started as posts on Logan Bench’s personal Facebook page to keep his family informed regarding Maverick’s condition turned into a way to bring the Valley together during a time when everyone was facing a confusing year. “He was a light during COVID and a message to keep fighting,” said Megan. Megan spoke of the togetherness and love that everyone shared supporting Maverick during his fight. “I would read the blogs every morning, share them with my kids and send them to my relatives in Washington, Arkansas, and Louisiana. God has big plans for him.” She expressed the positive influence Maverick has had on her two young children, Devin and Charlie. They still remember where they were standing on the corner of Rose Crossing and LaSalle during the huge parade when they brought Maverick home.

The lasting impression Maverick has had on all of us is a testament of the beauty in the Flathead Valley. It takes just one person to bring out the greater goodness and in Maverick’s case, he truly reached almost everyone in the Valley, and beyond. Maverick’s parents, Logan and Colleen, were very grateful to accept the Hometown Hero Award on Maverick’s behalf, and wanted to thank everyone for their love and support. They especially wanted to recognize Angel Flight West with their free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions, The Jadyn Fred Foundation out of Missoula, and the Doug Betters For The Children Inc.

Logan and Colleen are trying to maintain a sense of normalcy with their other children and keeping busy with wrestling seems to help. If you follow them on Facebook, they have a dedicated a page for Maverick called Maverick’s Army. They are exploring the idea of creating a foundation called Maverick’s Army. But in the meantime, they have purchased a wrestling mat that has been traveling Montana appearing at wrestling tournaments in Maverick’s memory. “We even had a request to bring it to Oklahoma.” Logan mentioned they are looking into a trailer to carry the wrestling mat. “That way if anyone wanted to use it they could just hook up to the trailer.” Logan and Colleen have chosen the Doug Betters For The Children Inc. as the nonprofit to receive the $500 award. You can read more about Maverick and his beautiful family in an upcoming issue of The Daily Interlake.

Congratulations!

The Hometown Hero award will continue running through January 2022. If you know of someone that is going out of their way, above and beyond expectations, cultivating our community and making a positive impact, please nominate them for the Hometown Hero Award. Each nomination is a true testament of the beauty in our community and demonstrates the impact individuals have on our families, friends, and neighborhoods. If the individual you nominated did not win this month, we encourage you to nominate them again!

Visit www.FreedomBankHometownHero.com to learn more.

Kelly Hamilton – February 2021 Hometown Hero

The first recipient of the Freedom Bank Hometown Hero Award is Kelly Hamilton.

Freedom Bank President Don Bennett with Kelly Hamilton, the winner of the February 2021 Hometown Hero Award.

Kelly Hamilton works fulltime for Weyerhaeuser and is a ‘twisted tails’ member of the Columbia Falls Lions Club. She graduated from Columbia Falls High School and currently lives in Columbia Falls. Kelly is very active serving the community and Flathead Valley. She is involved in numerous nonprofit programs. Recently she ran the largest Toys for Tots drive this past Christmas. With more kids in need due to COVID, she exceeded the goal for the drive and did it with more volunteers than in the past. “The volunteers came out of the woodwork to help,” she stated. She has been volunteering all of her life and is well known in the Valley for her services over the years. Some of the nonprofit programs she has been involved with are Fire Relief, Gap Fillers, Canyon Kids, the local Food Bank, and the Lions Club. The next time you see her helping our community, tell her thanks for everything she is doing.

Each winner of the Hometown Hero award selects a nonprofit to receive $500 on their behalf. Kelly has selected the Lions Club, specifically their Backpack Program to receive the prize money. If you would like to contribute to the cause, please contact the Lions Club for more information. You can read more about Kelly in the March 10th issue of the Hungry Horse News.

Congratulations Kelly!

The Hometown Hero award will continue running through January 2022. If you know of someone that is going out of their way, above and beyond expectations, cultivating our community and making a positive impact, please nominate them for the Hometown Hero Award. Each nomination is a true testament of the beauty in our community and demonstrates the impact individuals have on our families, friends, and neighborhoods. If the individual you nominated did not win this month, we encourage you to nominate them again!

Click here to learn more about the Hometown Hero project.

Night of Lights Parade & Brunch with Santa

2019
NIGHT OF LIGHTS

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6th

CRAFT FAIR STARTS 4:00 PM

LOCATED IN THE NORTH VALLEY SENIOR CITIZENS CENTER & TEAKETTLE ROOM

PARADE STARTS 6:30 PM

AWARDS FOR FLOATS; FLOAT ENTRY $10 OR FOOD ITEM FOR FOOD BANK

HEAT UP AT THE COOP AFTER THE PARADE
VISIT WITH SANTA AND WARM UP WITH A BON FIRE, HOT COCOA, CHILI &
A LIVE HOLIDAY CONCERT WITH HOLIDAY DESSERTS, CFHS CHORAL SONIFERS AND COLUMBIANS!

SATURDAY, DEC. 7TH 9:30 AM
BRUNCH WITH SANTA: TIMBERCREEK VILLAGE
MEADOWLAKE DR.

Enroll in eStatements and Make an Impact in Our Community

A committee of local individuals have created a vision for a community center called the HUB; a 27,000 square foot facility that features a full-size gym, technology room, commercial kitchen, walking space and meeting rooms for civic and educational programs.

The HUB

Click here to learn more about the HUB.

Community Centers have long been the hub of small towns. They are places where people can come to socialize, participate in physical activities, engage in life-long learning, and support one another.

At the heart of the HUB, our children will find hope, opportunity and a path to a great future. Hundreds of students will have a safe, nurturing and affordable place to go after school, including teens who will have their own space. The Boys and Girls Club will be the centerpiece of the HUB.

Freedom Bank President Don Bennett has been involved with the project since inception, and Freedom Bank is eager to contribute to the goal of raising $5.5 million dollars.

That is where our customers come in.

Through the end of January, Freedom Bank is giving $5 to the Boys & Girls Club of Glacier Country for each account that enrolls in eStatements. Visit the Online Banking page to learn how to enroll your accounts, or contact Lynette Smith at (406) 892-1776 if you have any questions.

Giving Progress as of 11-01-2019

Freedom Bank Receives “Outstanding” Rating for Community Reinvestment Act Performance

Quote from Don Bennett: We don't view community investment as a regulatory requirement. For us, it is just how we do business.Freedom Bank received the highest possible rating for our performance in the Community Reinvestment Act during the most recent examination by the FDIC. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 requires federally insured depository institutions to support the borrowing needs of the communities where they do business, including low- and moderate-income areas.

The “Outstanding” rating is based on Freedom Bank’s performance under the lending, investment, and service tests. These tests examine mortgage, small business, and community development lending, community development investments, and community development services in the communities a bank serves.

Freedom Bank was recognized in these key areas:

  • 90.9% of home mortgage loans and small business loans, by number, were made to borrowers located in Flathead County.
  • 82.8% of small business loans were made to businesses with less than $1 million in Gross Annual Revenues, demonstrating Freedom Bank’s commitment to meeting the small business credit needs of Flathead County.
  • Good distribution of lending to customers of different income levels and business customers of different sizes.

“We don’t view community investment as a regulatory requirement,” says Freedom Bank President Don Bennett. “For us, it is just how we do business. Columbia Falls believed in us when we opened our doors as a single-wide trailer in 2005 and we work hard every day to return the favor.”

Just like many of our customers, Freedom Bank is a small business. We consider our small size and local character to be our core strengths. Bennett adds, “Freedom Bank remains committed to the continued vitality and successes of our customers, no matter where they are at in their financial journey.”

If you want the money you deposit at a bank to stay local, you can count on Freedom Bank. Give us a call or stop in today to learn more about what we offer. We want to be your bank!

Staying Cyber-safe on a Summer Vacation

Typical travelers heading out on their summer vacation check that they have the right supplies and clothes for their trip before they hit the road. Expert travelers will be also checking to ensure they are educated and prepared to be cyber-safe with their devices and data while on the road! Thinking of your smartphones and devices as being just as important as your wallet is a proper step in the right direction. These devices contain everything from your banking and payment information to your treasured family photos, and ensuring they are secure and protected when away from home is paramount. In partnership with the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA), we have put together some key tips, strategies, and resources to aid you in being secure during your travels.

To do before your trip:

Update your devices: One of the most simple and effective ways to stay cyber-secure is to continuously update your devices. Those updates don’t just contain new features, but fix security flaws and keep you protected!

Password/Passcode protect your devices: Always establish a strong passcode with at least 6 numbers or a swipe pattern with at least 1 turn of direction when protecting the lock screen of your smartphone. On laptops, a minimum of 8 character password or phrase is recommended including uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers.

Set your device to lock after an amount of time: Once you have the passcode, password, or swipe pattern established, you should set an automatic device lock prompting for the access code after a specified time of inactivity. This will prevent a criminal from getting onto your device if you accidentally leave it unlocked.

Book your trip with trusted sites: When planning your trip and booking transportation, lodging, and experiences, it is important to complete those transactions with trusted, known businesses. If possible, double check the reviews and reputation of a site you are unfamiliar with, but are considering to use for your booking. By sticking to reputable sites, you guarantee a higher standard of security for your data and transaction.

Staying secure and connected during your trip:

Keep track of your devices: Not only are your devices themselves worth a great deal of money, but your sensitive information that is accessible by that device is also valuable. Ensure that you keep your devices close at hand or secured away safely when not in use. Theft of mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets and laptops, is all too common and can spoil a fun trip to a great extent.

Limit your activity on public Wi-Fi networks: Public Wi-Fi that does not require credentials or logging in is not protected by encryption, so browsing and activity is not secure from prying eyes. To ensure your information is not put at risk, avoid logging into your personal accounts or making transactions while on public or hotel networks.

  • Use your phone carrier’s internet connection, or use your phone as a personal hotspot (if your cell carrier’s plan allows) when logging into personal accounts or conducting transactions.
  • Ensure your device is set to ask your permission before connecting to a wireless network while on your trip.
  • If you intend to use a hotel or establishment’s customer wireless network, verify what network is the correct one to use with a member of the staff.

Don’t overshare on social media: Consider posting updates about your trip after you return. Criminals may see that you are away from home based on social media content and attempt to steal from your home! If you also share too many details about where you are on your trip, some scammers may attempt to contact your family and friends with a variety of scam tactics. Additionally, consider setting your social media accounts to only allow friends to view your posts and content.

By following these tips and being a cyber-safe traveler, you will have a smooth and enjoyable vacation! There are more resources available from NCSA and our partners on staying secure on trips and at home, check them out below to learn more:

 

https://staysafeonline.org/blog/top-tech-tips-for-cybersafe-summer-travel/

https://www.cisecurity.org/newsletter/securing-devices-by-making-simple-changes/

Heritage Days 2019

The Columbia Falls Heritage Days celebration dates back to 1956 when it was originally called “Progress Days”. The original event was organized to celebrate the prosperity brought about by the industrial expansion of the area. Decades later, Columbia Falls still enthusiastically celebrates our history, our heritage, and our future. This year’s theme is “There’s No Place Like Home”.

Look for Freedom Bank in the parade down Nucleus Avenue on Saturday, July 27th at 12:00 pm. After the parade, roughly at 1:30 pm, Freedom Bank sponsors a wild horse drive down Highway 2 from Columbia Heights to the Blue Moon. We are also a main sponsor of the Open Rodeo at the Blue Moon Arena, a team and prize sponsor for the 3 on 3 basketball tournament, and a sponsor of the Columbia Falls Community Market at the Coop.

Heritage Days is an adventure and celebration for the whole family. Take a look at the complete schedule below or visit the official website here: http://cfallsheritagedays.com/index.html

Wednesday – July 24, 2019

  • 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm – 10th Annual Car Show
    • Location: Marantette Park
  • 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm – The American Legion Freedom Post 72 will be preparing food for the Car Show.
    • Location: Marantette Park
    • A nominal fee/donation will be requested to cover the costs of the food.

Thursday – July 25, 2019

  • 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Community Market
    • Location:  The Coop – 830 1st Ave. West
  • 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm – FREE Open Swimming
    • Location: Pinewood Park Pool.
    • 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm – Adults and kids to 12 years old
    • 8:15 pm – 9:30 pm – Adults and kids 13+ years old
  • 7:00 pm – Lion’s Club Concert
    • Location: Marantette Park

Friday – July 26, 2019

  • 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm – Wildcat/kat Athletic Endowment Auction and BBQ
    • Location:  The Coop – 830 1st Ave. West
    • 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – BBQ and Social Hour. $10.00 per plate
    • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Silent Auction
    • 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Live Auction
    • 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm Social/Cash Bar and Dancing with Music on The Move
  • 7:00 pm – Open Rodeo
    • Location: Blue Moon Arena northeast corner of Hwy. 2 and 40, just behind the Blue Moon Bar & Grille

Saturday – July 27, 2019

  • 7:00 am – Firemen’s Breakfast
    • Location: Don Anderson Fire Hall, 624 1st Ave. West
  • 7:30 am – early check-in for Heritage Days 3 on 3 basketball tournament
    • Location: Berube Physical Therapy
    • Teams will consist of boys and girls, grades 5-6, grades 7-8 and grades 9-12 and Men’s Open.
    • Registration forms may be picked up at the Columbia Falls Chamber Office, Berube Physical Therapy, Glacier Bank and Whitefish Credit Union. Completed forms must be turned in by July 22nd to any of the above locations. Contact Laura Gadwa at 892-2072 with any questions. Cost per team is $80.
  • 8:00 am – Boogie-to-the-Bank 5k & 10k Run
    • Location: North Fork to Discovery Square
    • Contact Ashley Campbell at 406-751-4758 for more information.
  • 9:00 am – JIM’S Rat Race
    • Location: A short race from Whitefish Credit Union down to the Boogie to the Bank finish line.
    • The race will start after the last runner is finished with Boogie. Open to children ages 4-13. Contact Ashley Campbell at 406-751-4758 for more information.
  • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Arts, Crafts, Food Vendors, and Activities for the Kids
    • Location: Marantette Park
    • **Note: Food Vendors have the option to set up by the 3 on 3 basketball tournament and then move to Marantette Park.
  • 10:00 am – 3:00 pm – North Valley Senior Center Fundraiser Luncheon
    • Location: North Valley Senior Center at 205 Nucleus Avenue
    • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – North Valley High Steppers line dancing entertainment.
    • For more information call the Center at 406-892-4087.
  • 12:00 pm – Main Parade
    • Location: Nucleus Avenue (Railroad Street to 7th Street West)
    • Parade participants will stage along Railroad Street at the north end of Nucleus Ave. at 11:00 am.
  • 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Family Fun Day
    • Location: Glacier Bank parking lot
  • 1:30 pm – Freedom Bank’s Wild Horse Drive on Hwy. 2
    • Location: Along Highway 2 from Columbia Heights to the Blue Moon.
    • **Note: Wild horses can be unpredictable and don’t always follow a strict schedule.
  • 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm – Falls Fest Fundraiser by the Rotary Club, with music by the “Barn Yard Riot”
    • Location: Marantette Park
  • 7:00 pm – Open Rodeo
    • Location: Blue Moon Arena northeast corner of Hwy. 2 and 40, just behind the Blue Moon Bar & Grille
  • 7:00 pm – 9:45 pm – Falls Fest Fundraiser by the Rotary Club, with music by “The Brothers”
    • Location: Marantette Park

 

Cabin Fever Days 2018

Cabin Fever Days 2018

Schedule of Events

Friday – February 9, 2018

  • 7:00 PM – Mixed Doubles Pool – Southfork
    • Dart Tournament – Stonefly
  • 8:30 PM – Marshall Catch – Packers
  • 9:00 PM – Badger Hound – Stonefly

Saturday – February 10, 2018

  • 10:00 AM – Biscuits & Gravy – Packers
  • 1:00 PM – Barstool Ski Races – Sugar Hill
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Moonshine Mountain – Stonefly
    • Arm wrestling Weigh-Ins – Stonefly
  • 1:00 – 4:00 PM – Killer Pool Tournament – Dam Town
  • 2:00 PM – Hog Roast – Packers
  • 3:00 PM – Shuffleboard Tourney – Southfork
    • Snowshoe Softball – Ball field
    • Mountain Man Competition – Packers
  • 4:00 PM – Craig Barton – Southfork
  • 4:00 – 7:30 PM – Arm wrestling Tourney – Stonefly
  • 5:00 PM – Larry Myer – Packers
  • 6:00 PM – Flathead V-8s – Deerlick
    • Dirty Old Men – Southfork
  • 8:00 PM – Pedacter Project – Stonefly
  • 8:30 PM – Comatose Posse – Packers
  • 11:30 PM Chach & Triple T – Stonefly

Sunday – February 11, 2018

  • 10:00 AM – Biscuits & Gravy – Packers
  • 11:00 – 2:00 PM – Hangover Cures – Stonefly
    • Free Soup – Deerlick
  • 1:00 PM – Barstool Ski Races – Sugar Hill
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Moonshine Mountain – Stonefly
  • 2:00 PM – Hog Roast – Packers
    • Craig Barton – Southfork
    • Sonny King – Deerlick
  • 2:00 – 3:00 PM – Roshambo Sign Ups – Stonefly
  • 3:00 PM – Barstool Race Final – Sugar Hill
    • Mountain Man Competition – Packers
  • 3:00 – 5:00 PM – Roshambo Tournament – Stonelfy
  • 4:00 PM – Lary Myer – Packers
    • Dirty Old Men – Southfork
  • 5:00 PM – Mountain Man Finals – Packers

7:00 PM – 40th Annual Barstool Race Awards @ Southfork Saloon

Night of Lights Parade & Brunch with Santa

2017
NIGHT OF LIGHTS

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1st

PARADE STARTS 6:30 PM

AWARDS FOR FLOATS; FLOAT ENTRY $10 OR FOOD ITEM FOR FOOD BANK
CRAFT FAIR IN THE NORTH VALLEY TEAKETTLE ROOM

HEAT UP AT THE COOP AFTER THE PARADE
VISIT WITH SANTA AND WARM UP WITH A BON FIRE, HOT COCOA, CHILI &
A LIVE HOLIDAY CONCERT WITH CFHS CHORAL SONIFERS,
JAZZ BANK & HOLIDAY SINGALONG!

SATURDAY, DEC. 2nd 10 AM
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: TIMBER CREEK VILLAGE
MEADOWLAKE DR.