HELENA — The film “Father Stu,” based on the life of the Helena priest, is set to hit theaters next week. However, Sony has allowed a scholarship foundation to show the movie early as a benefit for Capital High Schools (CHS) students.
Long graduated from CHS in 1981. His classmates have set up the Capital High School Alumni Class of 1981 Memorial Endowment Scholarship for Capital High Students in honor of all of the fellow classmates the alumni have lost.
“My little brainchild,” explained Glenn Campbell. “In the June of last year, six weeks before the reunion of the Class of 81, I embarked upon the process of starting the memorial scholarship endowment from $0 to $45,000 in the five weeks.”
The Capital High Class of 1981 have been able to meet that initial goal of $45,000, but they want to take things even further.
“We’ve raised enough money to keep that scholarship going but our hope is to raise it over $100,000 so it self manages basically forever and we can continue that legacy as long as possible,” said Mary McLeod Craigle.
Craigle works for the Montana Department of Commerce and knows Montana Film Commissioner Allison Whitmer well. It was that connection that allowed for the special screening of “Father Stu” to happen.
“So we had talked about it as a group, wouldn’t that be wonderful if we could tie all this in with our memorial scholarship because Stu was part of our class," recalled Lisa Waterman. “Because [Mary] works alongside the film commissioner and is a good friend, that’s how we basically got tied in through the premiere and the screenings that we’re going to be able to show through Sony in memory of Stu and all of our other classmates.”
Sony has allowed the alumni to hold four charitable screenings before the film officially releases in theaters on April 13. The first showing was Wednesday at the Roxie Theater, followed by a showing at the Myrna Loy Center in Helena and the Blackfoot Movie Mill in Blackfoot Idaho, and a showing at the Babcock Theatre in Billings on Saturday.
At the Myrna Loy screening, the alumni will also announce the first recipient of the scholarship.
Legacy is a funny thing, it’s often less about a person’s accomplishments and more about the lives they impact.
Thanks to the scholarship fund, the Capital High Class of 1981 has cemented part of their legacy, a cause that will continue to impact the lives of Capital High students for a long time to come.
More information about the Capital High School Alumni Class of 1981 Memorial Endowment Scholarship and how to make a donation can be found here.