Mayor, sheriff among leaders to swim for charity at Sip ‘n Dip event

Posted at 3:24 PM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 18:41:22-04

GREAT FALLS – More than mermaids will be swimming in the Sip ‘n Dip pool Thursday evening.

Leadership Great Falls is once again putting on its the Splash for Cash event, where five local celebrities, including KRTV’s very own Meteorologist Elizabeth Copeland, will compete to raise money through both online and live voting.

The other participants will be Great Falls Fire Chief Steve Hester, Mayor Bob Kelly, Shane Etzwiler with the Great Falls Chamber and Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter.

Money raised this year will benefit the Dandelion Foundation and Royal Family Kids.

The Dandelion Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness about child abuse, neglect and family violence.

The Dandelion Foundation also assists the Children Advocacy Center in Cascade County, which is where the group takes kids of suspected abuse, drug-endangered children or kids with family trauma.

They will use the money raised in Splash for Cash for a new recording system for the Children Advocacy Center.

Children go to the advocacy center to report their abuse. In the past, children have had to report their abuse to multiple different people. Now, with the recording system, they only have to tell their story one time.

Dandelion Foundation President Katie Cunningham said, “This is a place where we can all collaborate as one, do one interview in a child-friendly environment where they can give us that information that we’re seeking.”

Their current recording system is failing.

Royal Family Kids is a nonprofit that provides a week-long camp for foster children.

During the week-long camp, trained personnel spend a week encouraging the kids, loving them and affirming them.

Kids that attend the camp are either in foster care or have been in foster care in the past.

They will use the money raised during Splash for Cash for a new enclosed trailer needed for transporting all of their supplies to bring to camp.

Next year, they plan to start both a mentoring club and high school camp. The trailer will help transporting supplies there as well.

Royal Family Kids Director Bonnie Culver said, “They’re with children who have been in foster care, so they’re in a group that understands where they’ve come from and what they’ve done. They’re not the odd man out and they get to learn to play, they get to learn to trust adults. It’s just a critical week that can really change the trajectory of a child’s life.”

Splash for Cash will start with voting at 5:30 p.m. at the Sip ‘n Dip Lounge. Voting ends at 7 p.m., and the contestants will swim at 7:30 p.m.

Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News