Last Call: Making Waves

Pride Foundation aims to “make waves” with the first-ever Flathead Lake Equality Cruise on Sunday, Aug. 12, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The boat will depart KwaTaqNuk Best Western Resort at 4 p.m. sharp, so guests are encouraged to arrive by 3:45.  Tickets are $45 for individuals and $80 per couple and can be purchased online at

Seattle-based Pride Foundation has made a big splash in Montana since hiring on-the-ground staff in 2011, sextupling the number of active donors in less than two years. Pride Foundation has increased from $19,000 to nearly $50,000 the amount of grants and scholarships given out in the state over the past year.

According to Regional Development Organizer Caitlin Copple, who is also the first openly gay member of the Missoula City Council, Montana is part of a larger national trend toward greater acceptance of people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

“From the city ordinances protecting the community from non-discrimination to the increase in the number of high school Gay-Straight Alliances around the state to the changes in both the Republican and Democratic party platforms, Montana is rapidly becoming a more friendly place for gays and lesbians,” Copple said. “Most importantly, more of our heterosexual family, friends, and colleagues are also ‘coming out’ as supporters of full equality in our state.”

Indeed, co-hosts for the upcoming cruise include Rep. Ellie Hill (D-Missoula) and Dr. Tyler Smith of Missoula, Cathy and Ned Cooney of Bigfork, Mary Stranahan of Arlee, and Beth Frazee, Paul Vestal, and Bryony Schwan, all of Missoula.

Special thanks to event sponsors KwaTaqNuk Resort, Fidelity Title of Lake County, Mamalode Magazine,, Salish Kootenai College, S&K Technologies, Ronan Telephone Company, Blackfoot Telecommunications, and Gateway to Vitality. If you would like to sponsor or co-host, please contact

Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation is dedicated to inspiring a culture of generosity to connect and strengthen organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality across the Northwest states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. To learn more, visit or email