2020 Steve Browning Spirit of Philanthropy Award

2:46 PM, Sep 16, 2020

The Helena Area Community Foundation has the great pleasure of announcing Bob Rowe, CEO of Northwestern Energy, and his wife Melanie Reynolds, the former Health Officer for Lewis and Clark County, as the 2020 Steve Browning Spirit of Philanthropy award recipients. This honor is given annually by the Foundation to Helena area leaders who embody the art of giving back.

Bob and Melanie were selected for this award due to their generous philanthropy in Montana and Helena, and were selected this year particularly for their contributions to the Helena Area Emergency Relief Fund for COVID-19. With a history of volunteering on a wide variety of nonprofit and professional boards, Bob and Melanie continue to be active in sharing their time and generosity with the Helena area and Montana.

"This year, with so much disruption, we really did try to make contributions to organizations that were going to make an impact and help people who are hurting," Bob said.

Melanie added, "Our kids grew up here, and even though they've moved, I'm looking at the community as a whole and thinking about everyone's kids and everyone's family. Right now, with COVID, having worked in public health [...], it affects a community in so many ways. Physical health, yes, but also mental health, and the health of our community." This award is typically presented during an HACF event at the Governor’s mansion, but due to COVID-19, gathering in-person was not an option. Valley Bank of Helena, regular sponsor of the HACF donor event, kindly maintained their sponsorship so that Bob and Melanie could be appropriately recognized. HACF is grateful for Valley Bank of Helena’s support of philanthropy and of the greater Helena community.

The Steve Browning Spirit of Philanthropy Award is named for one of the founding members of the Foundation. True to its name, this award is given to honor those in the Helena community who live up to Mr. Browning's involvement and philanthropy. Previous awardees are Peter Sullivan, Ron and Connie Bergum, Mary Munger, Curt and Mary Larsen, and Lisa Bullock. More information on the award, previous winners, and the Helena Area Community foundation can be found at www.helenaareacommunityfoundation.org.

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