Judith Basin Fit Club members hand over a check totaling $1,500, using proceeds from their last Bull Run and Bike, to members of the Wellness Center, Inc., a non-profit that seeks to build a health and wellness center. Shown here (from left) are Wellness Center Members Doreen Caquelin, Amanda Grove, and Fit Club Members Mindy Claver and Billie Jo Holzer. Photo by Melody Montgomery, Judith Basin Press
Fundraiser draws many sponsors and participants.
The fastest times in the three-mile race were by Brody Shields at 23:12 (center), Kayla Hammer at 23:40 (left) and Linsey Smith at 24:04 (right). Photo by courtesy of Amanda Grove
Regardless of what the future holds, overall wellness will remain critical, now and tomorrow. Also, anyone who has braved Montana winter roads during winter storms knows how difficult it can be to travel to health appointments. Judith Basin is without a single primary care clinic, let alone an easily accessible fitness facility.
To help overcome this limitation, several individuals have partnered to create the non-profit Basin Wellness Center Inc. and bring access to health and fitness to Judith Basin.
Basin Wellness Center Committee members include Powell Becker, Doreen Caquelin, Amanda Grove, Matt Neumann and Ollie Urick. The location is planned for the county seat, Stanford, but ideally the facility will also draw people from across the region. The committee foresees an enduring facility that can grow with the community.
To further the goal of bringing the center to the region, the Basin Wellness Center Committee hosted a Spring Runoff on April 17th.
The Spring Runoff started just past the Basin Seed elevators north of Stanford.
Round Butte and Square Butte set the stage for the participants.
“It was the most gorgeous sight,” said Wellness Committee Member Doreen Caquelin.
The one-mile race had 18 participants, and the threemile race had 22. There were 60 registrants total, helping raise funds for the cause even if unable to run, and two virtual racers, netting $1,070.72 to help further the mission of creating a health and wellness facility in Judith Basin.
The fastest times in the three-mile were by first place runner Brody Shields (23:12), second place runner Kayla Hammer (23:40) and third place runner Linsey Smith (24:04).
The fastest runners crossing the finish line in the onemile on Elevator Road included first place runner Gage Mitchell (8:03), second place runner Mia Smith (8:49) and third place runner Tuff Berg (10:27).
“All official times can be found on the Basin Wellness Center’s Facebook page,” said volunteer Dana Holzer, who is the wife of Quinn Holzer and daughter in law of Dick and Kathy Holzer.
Dana and Stanford Graduate Quinn Holzer moved to Stanford so their children could attend school in a safer place during COVID-19 times. Dana Holzer has been active in helping the committee since joining the community late last summer.
“Dana has been helping from day one,” said Committee Member Doreen Caquelin.
“Participants entered a drawing for prizes including a hula hoop, jump rope, roller for sore muscles, waterproof Smith and Rogue bag, $25 gift cards, Smartwool running socks, and one Fitbit watch,” said Dana Holzer. “The race’s trophies were hand carved by Caleb Caquelin. Many local prizes were awarded including free drink coupons at the R Bar, Dauna’s Deli, and the Waterhole Saloon. Other sponsors of the event included Youderian Construction, Woodhall Distributing, North 40, Stockman Bank, Stockman Insurance, Hubble Law Firm, Woody’s Fuel, Lone Tree Chiropractic and Wellness Center, Basin Seed and Johnny’s Family Candies.”
Doreen added, “The sponsors covered the cost of the t-shirts so that all of the entry fees could be put toward the center.”
About the Wellness Center
Committee members, as well as other volunteers, expect the people of Judith Basin County and surrounding areas will benefit enormously from local access to a wellness center.
“There are a number of reasons for why I support the Wellness Center,” said committee member Matt Neumann, who is also the DGS head football coach and History teacher at Stanford Public Schools. “It would give kids a great spot to go work out, shoot hoops, swim, and be active. With the school building not always being accessible, it would be a great alternative to find physical activity. Also, if we can get medical personnel out to Stanford that would be great for our community and save some miles for everybody. It would be amazing to have certain medical options available right in our county.”
Fellow committee member Powell Becker feels equally strongly about health and fitness.
“For me, there are two primary reasons that I support the proposed facility,” said Becker. “First, it is particularly important that we continue to invest in our communities. Second, this facility would provide access for individuals in Stanford, across Judith Basin and in the surrounding area to offer a healthier lifestyle through not only fitness but also the healthcare side we hope to incorporate.”
Judith Basin is one of the few counties in Montana that does not have a medical healthcare facility, although it does offer physical therapy services through the CMMC Rehabilitation Dept. – Stanford, for which committee member Amanda Grove is the physical therapist.
“Basin Wellness Center would fulfill many needs in rural Judith Basin County,” said Grove. “Access to healthcare providers, exercise opportunities, educational offerings, and expanding youth activities are a few of the many reasons I believe our Center would be successful. It’s somewhere that can unite our communities to serve a greater purpose - that of healthy and vibrant population.
The Basin Wellness Center currently has an architect. Dale Nelson with Nelson’s Architects in Great Falls is donating his time to help further the vision. Nelson was a classmate of Jennifer Taylor, Judith Basin Clerk of Courts. Taylor approached him about the possibility of pro bono work (translated as ‘for the good’ in Latin).
Nelson reviewed the three sites proposed and decided on the one by the Stanford School, which is visible from the Highway and is where the baseball fields are currently located, which would be moved.
“Hopefully we will be able to provide a virtual tour by the time of the CMR Stampede Rodeo in July,” said Committee Member Caquelin.
Basin Wellness Center Inc. is also partnering with Snowy Mountain Development for grant writing. Further the CEO of the Central Montana Medical Center, along with Dr. Laura Bennett and Torie Poser attended a committee meeting in February and were interested in seeing how they could work with the Basin Wellness Center to turn the vision into a reality, said Caquelin.
Ways to help
If you would like to help, there is PayPal Giving Fund and an account at Stockman Bank. You may also contact any of the committee members for more information.
In the fall of 2018, the committee formed its 501(c)3 and sent surveys to residents to find out what they would like to see a wellness center entail. The results indicated a desire for many types of service for the Center. The top five services listed in the responses were the following: (1) group exercise, (2) healthcare, including physical therapy, massage, primary care and chiropractic, (3) a weight room, (4) swimming pool, and (5) a walking/running track. This survey also showed respondents were most concerned with improving their health, especially in the areas of heart disease, joint pain, diabetes, obesity, and osteoarthritis.
The recent Spring Runoff is just one the fundraisers to date. The group also hosted a beef raffle starting late Oct. 2020. The beef was donated by Kevin and Sasha Keller of Stanford, and then grain-finished by Jeremy and Amanda Grove. The winner of one-half of the beef was Trygg Danielson, and the winner of the other half wished to be anonymous. Committee members were able to raise over $2K, with more than 200 raffle tickets sold in a short amount of time. Larger fundraisers are planned for the future when COVID-19 is less a hindrance to gatherings.
“Happiness is the highest form of health.” – Dalai Lama