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2024 Paris Gibson Award goes to Harold Spilde

Harold Spilde
Posted at 11:32 AM, Jun 18, 2024

In the video above, Aneesa Coomer talks with Harold Spilde, the winner of the 2024 Paris Gibson Award; and previous winner Norma Ashby.


Harold Spilde has won the 2024 Paris Gibson Award, which is exemplified by the vision and excellence of Great Falls’ founder Paris Gibson.

The City of Great Falls said in a news release on Tuesday that previous winners of the award chose Spilde from the list of nominees.

Harold was born and raised in Decorah, Iowa. After graduation he enlisted in the United States Air Force. This is where he first experienced the beauty of Montana. Upon leaving the Air Force Harold eventually made Great Falls his home. It was here where he met his wife Judy and they had their son Paul.

While working at his second career with the Montana Department of Transportation, Harold embarked on his lifetime passion of volunteering and service. In 1993 he began volunteering with FISH, an organization made up by members of 12 churches and 1 service group that is an emergency source of food to residents in need. During his time with FISH Harold served as President, and volunteered 5 days a week for roughly 4 hours a day.

Spilde will receive a $500 check provided by Jimmy and Debbie Filipowicz of Steel Etc, which may be given to a charity of his choice; a tree, donated by Steve Tilleraas of Tilleraas Landscape Nursery, planted in their honor, with a granite marker donated by Montana Granite; a plaque donated by Greg and Leanne Hall; dinner for two at P. Gibson’s, donated by P. Gibson’s Sports Grill; and a ride in a 1918 Model T Ford at the Great Falls Independence Day Parade, provided by Kurt Baltrusch of the Skunk Wagon Club.

Formal announcement of Spilde as the winner will be made at the Great Falls Municipal Band concert at 7 p.m. at the Mansfield Convention Center on Wednesday, June 26, 2024. The concert is free and open to the public.

Previous winners of the award are:

  • Doug Wicks, 2010
  • Norma Ashby, 2011
  • Greg Hall, 2012
  • Ian and Nancy Davidson, 2013
  • Gene Thayer, 2014
  • Bill and Joan-Nell Macfadden, 2015
  •  Arlyne Reichert, 2016
  • Sheila Rice, 2017
  • Brad Talcott and Linda Caricaburu, 2018
  • Chuck and Gerry Jennings, 2019 
  • Judy Ericksen, 2020
  • David and Tanya Cameron, 2021
  • Bud Nicholls, 2022
  • Kathy Van Tighem, 2023