The Montana Women’s Run announced donations to women’s health and fitness programs in the Billings community from funds raised this year.
This year’s funds are donated to five worthy causes, including the YWCA, $36,000; Billings Clinic Foundation, $27,000; Rocky Mountain College Women’s Cross-Country Scholarship Program, $5,500; MSU-B Women’s Cross-Country and Track Scholarship Programs, $5,500; and Billings YMCA, $18,000. With this year’s contributions, the Montana Women’s Run has donated over $1,157,500 to local organizations that promote women’s health and fitness.
The YWCA provides many services to women through their Gateway House, domestic violence training, day care and other programs that are not otherwise available in the Billings community. It also sponsors educational classes for people of all ages. The YWCA has partnered with the Montana Women’s Run for many years, providing volunteers for the annual Kick-Off Dinner.
Billings Clinic’s Women’s Wellness program provides health screenings, including mammograms, pap smears, and blood panels, for women who are underinsured or without insurance. During the period from January 2016 through September 2017, Billings Clinic provided 78 mammograms and 99 diagnostic services to 165 under- and un-insured women in our region. In conjunction with those screenings, Billings Clinic also provided 72 pap smears, 99 office visits, and 72 lab panels paid for by the Women’s Wellness fund.
Rocky Mountain College uses the funds to award a scholarship to a female in its cross-country or track programs. Rocky has supported the Montana Women’s Run for many years by providing space for the event’s 8-week Getting Started Clinic and the Kids’ Run. Awarding the scholarship to a female cross-country or track runner recognizes the Montana Women’s Run commitment to health and fitness.
The women on the MSU-B women’s cross-country and track teams have served as positive role models to all young people in our community. Academically, the women’s team has perennially been named to the NCAA All-Academic team and has had the highest grade point average in the country. The athletes continue to compete in the Montana Women’s Run after graduation, often running with children of their own.
The Billings Family YMCA provides health and fitness oriented services and programs to families throughout the Billings community, such as swimming lessons, fitness programs and adult and youth sports, regardless of the ability to pay. The YMCA also plans and provides volunteers for the Post Race Celebration held after the Montana Women’s Run and supplies volunteers for the Kids’ Run.
Montana Women’s Run began in 1982 with 200 registrants and celebrated this year with 7,595 women participating and over 400 volunteers. Today, the race is recognized as the largest running event for women in the state of Montana, and one of the largest all-women’s races in the country. The major sponsors of the 2017 Montana Women’s Run were Billings Clinic, ExxonMobil, First Interstate Bank, Graphic Imprints, The Planet 106.7 and KTVQ. Next year’s race will be held on May 12, 2018.