Who is YOUR hero? 104.5 the U wants to recognize the community hero in your world! Is your hero a family member? A firefighter or nurse? A friend or colleague? We want to celebrate the people in your world that help make our community so special.
104.5 the U knows that a little appreciation goes a long way. With past promotions like ‘Frontline Flowers’ and ‘Teacher Tuesday’ we heard over and over again from listeners how much they appreciate the teachers, the grocery clerks, the nurses, and neighbors in our community who rose to the challenges we’ve faced, helping each other.
Help 104.5 the U spread those good vibes and remind our community that a true act of goodwill sparks another! Click RIGHT HERE to nominate the hero in your world and then join Aubrey each Wednesday as she shares a community hero nominee from our listeners and gives away a special prize. She’ll share your thoughtful notes of appreciation throughout the day and on social media!
Prizes include a gift cards and goodies from our wonderful local partners($25 gifites to folks like Cranky Sams Public House, Stone of Accord, Compass Barber, Big Creek Coffee Roasters & more) AND the nominator, that’d be YOU, will also receive a tasty croissant and 12oz drink of your choice from Bernice’s Bakery. Please make sure to list your and your hero nominees contact info!
104.5 the U Community Heroes is brought to you by The Advocates: ‘You deserve an Advocate’ Thanks to The Advocates for jumping on to help us share the community heroes with our listeners.
Here are some of the wonderful CommUnity Hero nominations listeners have sent in:
Jan 27th- Listener Miri Disney-Faller helped us kick off the CommUnity Heroes nominating Coryll Rupert with Chief Charlo Elementary. Here’s what Miri wrote: “Coryll is our FIT (Families In Transition) Coordinator. In that position she holds clothing and toiletry drives for our families who are struggling, who may be in transition in regards to housing and performs her job with care and humility. I often see her driving around the school neighborhoods, dropping off items to families at their homes and does all of this “under the radar” with discretion for the families involved. She is an angel among us and deserves to be recognized for all she does to give to those kids and families who struggle day to day with the basics.”
Feb 3rd- Listener Carolyn nominated her CommUnity Hero Sara Keller!
“Sara Keller has been a nurse at St Pats for many years. She worked in transfusions until Covid hit and she has been working with Covid patients since last March. This job has been emotionally taxing on her and her co workers as they work tirelessly to save patients all while trying to stay safe and healthy themselves. When she isn’t working with Covid patients, she is also a great mom to her three awesome kids. When Covid first hit and there were so many unknowns, I remember how nervous and worried she was just coming home after work. Would she get her kids and husband sick? Would she get sick? It was so stressful… and still is! But she still shows up to her shift with to work hard to help people from our community.”
Feb 10th- Listener Candice nominated educator Brittany Spencer as her CommUnity Hero! ” I nominate Brittany Spencer, who is the Education Coordinator at one of PFC’s children’s group homes. She has been dedicating her time to help already struggling kids to navigate their individual remote learning experiences. These kids have been through so much, and with school already being hard enough without a Pandemic happening, I’m thankful for staff like Brittany who help our kids to meet their academic and intellectual potential.”
Feb 17th- Listener Mark nominated his friend Diane. “”I am nominating Diane Funk, without all of her hard work nothing would get done where she works at, she is that hard of a working woman and that why everyone loves working with her love u and good luck.”
Feb 24th- This CommUnity Hero nomination came from some very sweet young listeners, Nick, Rigley, Kellan, Sloane, William, and McKenna! They nominated their school bus driver Clint Vaertsch! Check out the adorable Thank You video the kids put together to tell Clint how much he means to them. LINK HERE!
March 3rd- This special CommUnity Hero nomination comes from Thomas Jeffrey. Thomas nominated his CommUnity Hero, John Flemming, owner of Ear Candy Missoula. This nomination is part gratitude for John at Ear Candy Music Missoula and part memorial for his late mother Rashel Levine Jeffrey. Rashel passed away on January 30, this year in Missoula due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease and COVID-19. The beloved wife and mother is survived by her husband Balfour and children, Thomas and Erica Rose. John Flemming, owner of Ear Candy Music here in Missoula, helped Thomas and his family with his late mothers extensive record collection.
Rashel was born in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Queens NY. A child of 2nd generation immigrants, to Rashel family and friends were the most important things in her life. Rashel attended the University of Michigan where she studied to become a clinical social worker and made it her lifes work to help others in need. After meeting and falling in love with her husband Balfour, they moved to Missoula Montana after Balfour got a job as a Psychology Professor at U of M. While Montana was a huge change from her life in NY, she instantly fell in love with the state and the beautiful outdoors. Her sense of adventure bloomed as Rashel became an avid hiker, skier and golfer. And most especially loved going to Flathead Lake in the summers to visit friends. Rashel was a clinical social worker. She helped hundreds of families through adoption processes, worked with veterans living with PTSD, helped people quit smoking, and traveled the world as a Military Family Liaison Counsellor providing counseling to our country’s military families serving overseas and at home. Rashel’s son Thomas nominated John Flemming at Ear Candy as his CommUnity Hero because during one of the most difficult times his family has ever faced due to the challenges that COVID caused my family and his mothers eventual passing, a Missoula institution, John Flemming owner of Ear Candy Music stood up and did the right thing.
Because one thing that ran true throughout Rashel’s life was her love of music from the hundreds of live concerts she went to in her life to her love listening to her favorite band “The Beatles” on records at home. And Thomas mothers one true pride and joy was her record collection. After Rashel passed away John Flemmig the owner of Ear Candy spent weeks going through her record collection ensuring her Nina Simone, Miles Davis, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and many other amazing musician’s records will find great homes in Missoula. Ear Candy purchased about 100 of her records. Go see John at Ear Candy and tell him how awesome he is while you peruse those records.
Thomas, Rashels son also asked that I remind you all out there listening to continue to practice COVID safe practices, wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance. He said I know people in Missoula and the country are getting burned out, however, please remind your listeners so other families do not need to suffer the same painful fate ours did with our mother ‘s recent passing.
Rashel devoted her life to helping others and that is why The Jeffrey family asked me share her story and to ask fellow Missoulians to make a donation to the Missoula Food Bank in Rashel Levine Jeffrey’s name to help ensure Missoula families get the help they need.
Wow, ya’ll this submission got me. And I hope Rashels story touches you and I hope that you show CommUnity Hero nominee John Flemming at Ear Candy some love, stop by Ear Candy Music here in Missoula or visit them online at earcandymusic.biz.
This commUnity Hero submission brings to mind the heart healing poetry I heard on Wandavision last Friday. “But what is grief if not love preserving”
March 10th – Listener Lindsey Campbell nominated her colleague and friend Mary Peters! “Mary Peters is a dedicated Special Olympics MT Volunteer. She not only runs an Adult Special Olympics Team in Missoula (Missoula Diamondbacks) which takes a dedicated individual and is a big job, Mary is also the Five Valleys Area Director (a massive job). In addition to her volunteer work Mary works, and takes care of her family. I don’t know how Mary finds the time, also the energy! If all of this wasn’t enough of an ask Mary recently battled COVID-19, and some family loss. She deserves a break, and some pampering. Mary goes above and beyond for her community and is a true Community Hero. If Missoula had more people with even a fraction of the selflessness and dedication Mary shows it would be a far kinder place.” We couldn’t agree more! Thank you Mary for all you do for the Special Olympics family here in Montana!
March 17th- Listener Olga Bobko nominated newly graduated Nurse Maria Levchenko! “I would like to nominate Maria for a Community hero! She worked so hard finishing nursing school against all odds. She began her nursing career in a tough time with the covid pandemic! She did not let this pandemic discourage her. Because of Covid she did not get to have her nursing pinning ceremony or graduation when she worked hard for this opportunity for 5 years. Maria has worked hard, and is extremely compassionate to patients. She is picking up extra hours to help her co workers and the hospital out as they are short staffed and need all hands on deck, she is always coming in early and staying late and picking up extra shifts to help out when they do not have enough nurses. She deserves some recognition for working so hard and helping her co-workers and community out!”
Three cheers for Nurse Maria Levchenko! YOU are a true hero Maria.
March 24th- Listener Mandela nominated her personal hero, conservationist and friend of the birds Thomas Kallmeyer! “Thomas is a steward for bird habitat in Montana and works tirelessly to protect & document bird species. He is my hero.” Thank YOU Thomas for all you do for Montana bird species and for your dedication in helping ensure wildlife habitat remains wild for future generations.
March 31st- Today, March 31st is the Transgender Day of visibility! It’s important to celebrate the lives and contributions of trans, non binary and two spirit family in Montana and across the globe. In honor of that day I am nominating Shawn Reagor as a community hero on the U! Shawn is the current organizer of the Free and Fair Coalition. Shawn is a fourth generation montanan and since graduating from Carroll College he has become a leader in the LGBTQ community. In addition to starting 3 trans support groups across the state of montana and an online rural group, Shawn has fought for non discrimation protections on the state and municipal levels. He was the co chair of the committee responsible for defeating the anti trans bathroom initiative and worked in Alaska to prevent similar legislation from passing there. He has worked for years providing public education events and community building opportunities. In 2015, Shawn was named one of Montana’s 25 influential people under 25. Shawn was awarded a fellowship with the Trans justice funding project and was selected for Forward montanas Rock Star Hall of Fame. Shawn lives in Helena and is a true community hero for trans people in Montana! Thank you Shawn for all that you do, in helping fight for and celebrating the lives of trans, non binary and two spirit family here in Montana and beyond!
April 7th- Todays community hero is Kevi Berger, operations and program manager and Co-Coordinator for Safe Kids Missoula with the Foundation for Community Health. Kevi is a champion for kids and families in our community! Helping spread messaging about safe practices with sun smart messaging, buckle up safety, and with promotions like the safety superhero. Kevi is the kind of woman who will buy toys for families out of her own pocket to help with the fun factor in teaching safe practices for families in Montana! Safe Kids Missoula and Safe Kids Montana are local coalitions of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of more than 400 grassroots coalitions dedicated to protecting children from preventable injury—the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. and here in Montana. Our local Coalition in Missoula engages more than 80 volunteers and reaches more than 2,000 children, parents, and caregivers with safety education each year. Learn more about todays community hero Kevi Berger by connecting with safekidsmissoula.org
April 14th- Today’s commUnity Hero was nominated by listener Tess Sneeringer with the YWCA of Missoula. Tess nominated Amy Gallagher saying : “Amy has been volunteering as a GUTS! (Girls Using Their Strengths!) Group Facilitator for over 3 years. That means she has mentored over 40 of Missoula’s young girls and gender-diverse youth over the years, meeting with each group once a week. This past year she stepped up to the plate to mentor two new co-facilitators as we transitioned our program to a virtual format – and kept with it all year! She has always been so humble about her skills as a facilitator, but she deserves some extra praise!!”
April 21st- Today’s commUnity Hero comes to us from listener Lacy Fiore with the YWCA of Missoula! Lacy wanted to share appreciation for volunteer Kate Bernot! “Kate started volunteering with us at the YWCA in September 2020. She volunteers in our walk in room where she provides resources and advocacy for survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. She has a weekly shift and fills in when we need extra help. Kate is an asset to this organization and we couldn’t do what we do without wonderful humans like her!” We couldn’t agree more Lacy! Thank you to Kate and all those amazing volunteers with the YWCA
April 28th- The commUnity Hero today is from listener Stacey Wright, who wanted to share his commUnity Hero, Winnie Lohof with PATH. “She is dedicated and beyond helpful. She works with PATH, and without her help and hard work , I would still be homeless. Ten years on the streets. Winnie stepped up. Truly above and beyond!” WOW! Thank YOU to Winnie for all that she does for folks in our community who just need a little extra help.
May 5th- This week happens to be Teacher Appreciation Week, which makes today’s commUnity hero nomination even more special. Comes to us from listener Meghan Rodin, who nominated kindergarten teacher with Paxson Elementary Mikell Fox! “I am nominating Mikell Fox, a kindergarten teacher at Paxson Elementary. She has endured so much over the past three years, but no one would ever know it. She is a vibrant person who lites up any room she walks into. She is willing to sacrifice her prep and personal time to ensure our teaching team and staff is functioning and everyone has what they need to be successful. She accepts any challenge and helps any and every staff member, even if doing so makes her job harder. You wouldn’t even know due to the amount of love and care she exudes. Not to mention the amount of love and support she offers to all her students and their families. She makes time, every time, for them and everyone else.” Hip Hip Hooray for all the teachers out there and THANK YOU Mikell for all that you do for students, their families and your colleagues.
May 19th- Today’s commUnity Hero comes to us from listener Marilyn Gomez, who is nominating her boss Kara Thomas! “The Missoula Office of Public Assistance (OPA) would like to sincerely recommend our Field Operation Manager, Kara Thomas for your Community Hero recognition.
Kara is a great team leader, she support her team in all ways possible. She makes it duty to listen to all office staff, encourages an open door policy for all to bring forward any problems or issued and offers support. She encourages all her employees to thrive and grow. She is passionate, motivated, and dedicated to serve our community. We as an office thank her for her daily contagious smile and energy and taking the time to make all staff recognized for their hard work. We are grateful for her actions to keep our team motivated and passionate in our daily task and the extra effort she puts in every day.” Thank you Kara for all that you do for your staff and for folks in our community that need help. You are a true Hero!