By: Courage Louviere
On a perfect summer Saturday evening the streets of downtown Billings were transformed into an elegant and beautiful street party. Over 1,000 guests ate, drank, and danced the night away amid thousands of twinkle lights and stunning party tents at the annual Billings Clinic Classic. For 21 years, the Classic has been the premiere fundraising event for the Billings Clinic.
The event consists of four golf tournaments, a jewelry raffle, a silent auction, a tented street party with delicious food and specialty drinks, and a concert performance in the Alberta Bair Theater by a special headline performer. This year’s entertainment was rock band America. You may know them by their famous hits, “Horse With No Name”, or “I Need You.”
Over the years the Classic has raised millions of dollars for many different healthcare causes. All of the proceeds from this year’s event will go towards advancing Psychiatric Services at Billings Clinic, a great cause with an incredible amount of need in the state of Montana.
Beautiful decorations truly captured the organic and tranquil theme of this year’s Pure Classic. Handmade patina chandeliers hung in each party tent with tables elegantly decorated with rustic barn wood centerpieces and hundreds of amazing flower arrangements.
If it sounds like a lot of hard and detailed work, it is.
I had the opportunity of working for the Billings Clinic Foundation this summer as an intern for the Classic and got a chance to see firsthand how much hard work, time, and effort goes into putting on such a prestigious event. It was truly an incredible and humbling experience to work alongside all of the people at the Foundation and all the volunteers, and seeing how hard they work to help raise money to advance healthcare excellence.
Despite spending the my entire summer helping coordinate the Classic, nothing could have prepared me for the amount of work that goes into turning it all into a reality on the night of the event. Student athletes at Rocky Mountain College have been helping make this event possible for years. Rocky’s golf team volunteered at the Classic’s Golf Tournament and the Rocky Cheerleaders helped serve appetizers to guests during the party on Saturday evening.
Senior Megan O’Loughlin, Rocky Mountain College Cheerleading Captain, said, “This event is so much fun to volunteer at each year our team has participated. We love getting to see the people of Billings and helping a cause for the community of Billings.”
As the clock struck midnight and the festivities came to an end, I looked at the party, overwhelmed with all of the work that needed to be done. Fortunately, the athletes of Rocky came to the rescue. The ski team, golf team and track team arrived in the middle of the night on a Saturday to volunteer their time.
Nevada Kramer, a senior on the ski team said, Rocky has a tradition of helping.
“The skiers volunteer at this event every year because as a team we place a huge importance on giving back to the Billings community that gives us so much and makes what we do possible. That’s why we’ve made a tradition out of volunteering for such a great cause,” he said.
To anyone who is not familiar with the event, tearing down a party of this size is an incredible amount of work. Hundreds of chairs and tables are taken down, garbage is cleaned up o the streets, large flower arrangement, trees, and many other decorations are taken down and loaded into trucks to be hauled away.
Seeing so many Rocky students volunteering for such an amazing cause not only makes me very proud of my school, but is a great representation of Rocky as an institution. The Classic would truly not be possible without the help of all the volunteers.
Trent Dugger, a Rocky Alumni and the Development Associate of Annual Giving at the Billings Clinic Foundation said, “Rocky Mountain College plays a huge part in our community and it is great to see the students get involved in outside events. The student athletes have a packed schedule as is, and we remain incredibly grateful for their help. All the student athletes who participated in the Classic events were extremely helpful and represented the college well. We also owe it to their coaches who make volunteer- ing such an important part of their athletic programs.”