NewsPositively Montana


Leadership Great Falls gifts tractor to Eagle Mount

Eagle Mount Tractor.png
Posted at 5:44 PM, Jun 04, 2024

Leadership Great Falls class of 2024 raised over $50,000 this year to provide Eagle Mount Equestrian Center not only a brand new tractor, but a riding mower and sponsorship of their five horses for the upcoming year.

Leadership Great Falls is a program offered through the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce that allows for people from different organizations and agencies in the community to learn a variety of topics offered in Great Falls like human services, education, health and medical, and public safety. Each year the Leadership Great Falls class choses a project, and this year’s class chose raising funds to provide Eagle Mount a new tractor.

Through numerous fundraising efforts since the beginning of this year, the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Great Falls Class of 2024 raised $52,338 for their class project, providing Eagle Mount Equestrian Center with a new tractor. The class was able to exceed their goal by $7,000. With this money, Leadership Great Falls not only presented Eagle Mount with a new tractor, but also a riding mower and care for the nonprofit’s seven horses for the upcoming year.

One member of the Leadership Great Falls Class this year, Katie Brewer, says, “We want to thank the businesses and the people in our community. You know, the businesses in Great Falls are asked to support a lot of different things, and the fact that a number of them stepped up and were like, when they could support anything, they chose to help with us. It's just amazing what our community can do when they come together.”

Eagle Mount aids those with physical or cognitive special needs by allowing them to interact with their animals providing major beneficial physical and emotional impacts. Not owning a tractor has impaired the programs by slowing their ability to maintain the property. Eagle Mount currently serves 455 individuals through their 11 programs. With the tractor and riding mower, Eagle Mount will be able to focus more of their time on expanding their programs rather than manual upkeep of their 5 acre property.

The nonprofit is fully funded by the community, and alleviating the cost of care for their horses for a year allows for more money to be funneled into their programs. Diana Ruddy, Treasurer for the Board of Directors at Eagle Mount and parent to a child in Eagle Mount’s programs says, “When you have a child with a disability, it can be very intimidating to try to take your family skiing or get out and do certain things, and this organization makes that possible. So it's not just the person with the disability whose life it's changing, it's really their whole family’s.”

Vice President of the Board of Directors at Eagle Mount Sarah Goldsmith also has a child participating in Eagle Mount’s programs. Goldsmith explains “Eagle Mount Great Falls has changed our lives, and my family. My twin daughters were born at 25 weeks gestation, and one of them is disabled. She has cerebral palsy and this has opened so many doors for her to be able to recreate. Soccer, skiing, horse riding, and for her to be able to do those activities together with her siblings. This is going to touch so many people's lives, including mine, my family, and my daughter, and so many other disabled kids and adults within our community.”

For more information on Eagle Mount Equestrian Center, click here.

Leadership Great Falls is currently accepting applications for their 2025 class. To learn more, click here.