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West Mont unveils Flynn Pavilion in honor of long-time employee

West Mont unveils Flynn Pavilion in honor of long-time employee
Posted at 4:46 PM, May 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-11 18:46:07-04

HELENA — For nearly 14 years, Arlene Flynn worked within West Mont, a non-profit that offers a variety of services to Montanans with disabilities, and on Thursday the organization unveiled one of it newest additions to the non-profits farm and gardens site with Flynn Pavilion.

“It's completely surreal. I'm still trying to get my arms around it. It just — it means a great deal and although my name is up there, it was so many folks that have helped me throughout the years that I did work at Westmont,” said Flynn, the non-profit's former VP of Development and Marketing.

West Mont employees, clients, and members from the greater Helena community gathered at Morgan's Orchard on the grounds of the farm to celebrate with a ribbon cutting. Alongside, unveiling the pavilion, West Mont also dedicated a bench to Justin Hopewell, a long-time resident, and worker at West Mont's Farm and Gardens.

Janelle Egli, West Mont's director of development and marketing, said the plans for what was going to where the pavilion stands now fluctuated, but ultimately they decided to build the pavilion and honor Flynn by adding her name to it.

"Arlene was actually training me when she found out that that pavilion was going to be named after her. It was kind of a going away gift and head nod to Arlene. And we were super proud to be able to," said Egli. "The trees are still laid out in a maze-like fashion. So we did keep that aspect of our plan when we were executing the actual design. And so people can, you know, really walk this space. It's going to be accessible. So clients will be able to enjoy this space, whether they're, you know, in a wheelchair or if they have limited mobility."

Despite retiring from the non-profit, Flynn said the lessons she learned while working there still stay with her today.

“The first memory that comes to mind is just the time spent with clients. The people that we provide services for. And I still find myself saying we as if I still work for West Mont, but it gets in your blood and you just can't let it go. The clientele that West Mont serves are just incredible folks."