Billings Group Hopes to Establish LGBTQ Scholarship for Montana
RED LODGE, MT — The Billings-based group TAP 365 will bring Slide 4 Pride to the Beartooth Recreational Nordic Center on Saturday, March 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This family-friendly cross-country ski event aims to raise money to start a scholarship fund for a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or straight-allied Montana student, and will also accept donations for the Beartooth Recreational Trails Association.
“Gay students are more likely to lose family support and even face homelessness after they come out,” explained Suzie Eades, a volunteer with TAP 365 and Pride Foundation who is planning the ski event after two successful 4 Pride fundraisers earlier this year in Billings. “It’s important that our community step up and show these students that we believe in them and know they can succeed in college.”
TAP 365 is a new nonprofit aimed at raising awareness about LGBTQ issues east of the Continental Divide and to build bridges with heterosexual allies. TAP 365 hopes the 4 Pride events will raise enough money to endow a scholarship fund, which will be managed by Pride Foundation and perpetually support a Montana LGBTQ student who is pursuing a degree or post-secondary certification in Montana.
“We are thrilled to partner once again with TAP 365 and the 4 Pride Event Series,” said Caitlin Copple, Montana’s Regional Development Organizer for Pride Foundation. “It’s great to see the energy and enthusiasm coming out of the Billings community for LGBTQ equality, thanks to the work of these volunteers.”
Slide 4 Pride is a free event featuring beginning cross-country ski instruction, food, and music under a heated tent. All donations are tax deductible, and sponsorships from the Pride Foundation, Jason Webinger of Farmers Insurance in Billings and Café Regis of Red Lodge helped underwrite event costs.
Pride Foundation provides grants and scholarships to strengthen the LGBTQ equality movement across the Northwest states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. It is the single largest provider of scholarships for LGBTQ students in the nation, and will give away $380,000 in community scholarships this year. To learn more, visit www.pridefoundation.org or email Caitlin@pridefoundation.org or call 406.546.7017.