Recipient of Butte Exchange’s Book of Golden Deeds

The Butte Exchange Club presented Mike Kujawa with the Club’s Book of Golden Deeds Award, the highest honor presented by the Club, at their October 17th meeting.

The Book of Golden Deeds Award recognizes dedicated community members who contribute countless hours of their time and talents toward improving the lives of people they touch, making their communities better places to live. “Volunteer efforts are very important to our Club and should not go unnoticed,” Butte Exchange Club official said at the meeting.

Mike has been a key contributor to the success of the Empty Bowls fundraiser for the Butte Emergency Food Bank for the last ten years.  Under his leadership, Butte High School students and other volunteers have produced over 8,000 bowls for the event, including over 1,300 last year.  Proceeds from the event are the major source of funds for the Food Bank’s Backpack program. Without Mike’s leadership the success and growth of this program would not have been possible. 
In 2022, Mike established Hungry Hill, a community art center.  He aims to support the less fortunate through art. They will also partner with local non-profits to support their fund-raising efforts.  This includes the Food Bank, where Mike and his group will continue to produce bowls.
Mike is a Butte native and a graduate of Montana State.

Mining Museum Update

This summer several members of the Club took on the painting of another building at the World Museum of Miming. The small building housing the Telegraph Office was scraped, primed and painted, by Jim Stilwell and Bruce Graving, and this project has been completed for the season. If you are interested in working next season, please contact Jim for more details. The work at the Museum is rewarding and you get to meet lots of very interesting tourists.

Lady of the Rockies Trip

On August 23, 2002, a group of 21 Exchange Club Members, spouses and friends visited the Lady of the Rockies Statue on the East Ridge. Prior to heading up to the East Ridge, the group watched a video detailing how the community accomplished this incredible project. At the summit, all were rewarded with spectacular views and the awesome statue which is the 3rd highest in the US. On the way back, a scarlet sunset lingered in the western sky.

In Memorium – Larry LaRock and Bob Brooks

The Butte Exchange Club suffered a major loss with the passing this month of long-time members Bob Brooks who passed August 2, 2022 and Larry LaRock, who passed on July 6, 2022.
Larry LaRock joined the Butte Exchange Club in 1970 and was a member for 52 years. Bob Brooks joined the club in 1984 and was a 36-year member. Both shared their experience and wisdom with the Club. Bob Brooks was always ready with a joke and sometimes pressed the limits of what should be said in a public setting. Larry was not as much of a joker but he was quick-witted and he knew the way things should be done. Larry would be quick to share how things happened during his “regime”, as he referred to his term as president of the Butte Exchange Club in 1988-89. Larry was a major contributor to the Butte Exchange Club’s efforts to build and maintain the World Museum of Mining in Butte.

Dr. Larry LaRock was born in Helena Montana in 1942. He graduated from Montana State University and the Pacific University School of Optometry. He began his practice in Butte in 1969. Larry retired in 2004 and sold his practice to Exchange Club member Dr. Mike Monson.
Larry was very active in his profession, serving two terms as president of the Montana Optometric Association. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.
Larry married Alana Lencioni in 1972. They would have been married fifty years on July 31. Larry and Alana had one daughter, Lani Maarcee.

Larry enjoyed snow and water skiing and was a rabid fan of the Gonzaga University Basketball team.

Bob Brooks was born in Lewistown Montana in January 1936. He graduated from Fergus High School and Montana State University. He graduated from the University of Montana Law School in 1962.
Bob began his legal career in Montana as the Powder River County Attorney. He was appointed to the U.S. Attorney’s office in 1984. He served as an Assistant US Attorney until he retired in 1998. Bob was very active in civic affairs including the Butte Exchange Club, the Butte Public Housing Authority, the Montana Association for the Blind, the Ronald McDonald House and the Episcopal Church.

Bob was married to Blanche for 63 years. They had three children: Paul, David, and Susan, ten grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

Bob and Blanche were regulars at the Gamer’s Café in Butte where they could be frequently be found on Saturday mornings. Bob also took great pride in his 50 year-old pickup truck which he still drove on occasion.

Steak Fry

On a beautiful day in July, more than 50 Exchange Club Members and their guests attended this Exchange Club Steak Fry at the Stodden Park Pavilion. This annual event has been held for decades and is one the Club’s favorite social events! Steaks were grilled by Tom Daniel, Jim Stilwell and John McBride. Ernie Richards and his crew helped prepare and serve the traditional green salad and the delicious ratatouille (the recipe is still a secret!). Janet Ralph treated us with her delicious homemade cookies.

Give a Kid a Flag to Wave

Distributing 10,000 flags at the Butte 4th of July Parade is a multi-stage event. On Friday July 1st a dozen or so Exchange Club members assembled at the meeting room at The Springs to unpack and assemble many buckets of flags in preparation for distribution on July 4th. Many hands and many buckets made short work of the project and the group quickly made its way to the next event of the evening– a hot dog and burger barbeque.

On July 4th about 22 Butte Exchange Club members and friends assembled at 9:00 AM in the parking lot across from the Civic Center to put the finishing touches on the decorations for the truck which served as our mobile flag distribution center. The group got underway passing out flags about 9:45 AM, 15 minutes before the official start of the Parade. 10,000 miniature flags later, the group finished the 2 plus mile route by about 11 AM. The group finished the morning by eating ice cream and watching the parade. The distribution of flags went smoothly and the Club can be proud of the size of the turn-out of members and friends!

Book of Golden Deeds Awarded to Curt Quist

The Golden Deeds Award is given annually by the Exchange Club of Butte to a member of the Butte community who has dedicated significant time and effort to the betterment of the community and its citizens, often with little public recognition.

Curt Quist is this year’s recipient of the Book of Golden Deeds. Curt was instrumental in founding the Food Is Sharing Hope (FISH) program at Gold Hill Lutheran Church, a precursor to the Butte Emergency Food Bank. He served on the Board of the Human Resources Development Council as they established the Homeward Bound facility and program in the early 1990s. He also served on the Board of the Butte Public Housing Authority and currently serves on the National Affordable Housing Board and the Homeless Advisory Committee.

For many summers he led groups of teens to Seattle, as part of a program of Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp, to work in a homeless shelter. For most of these kids, it was their first face-to-face contact with the homeless.

About 3-1/2 years ago Curt established the Butte Furniture Bank, a non-profit organization that collects unwanted, gently used furniture and household items and delivers them to people who may be in need of furnishings due to fire, illness, job loss, domestic violence relocation, or relocation into community housing. This project has benefitted many low-income clients while also relieving the landfill of tons of waste.

Curt is a fifty-year resident of Butte and he and wife Jeanette recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Congratulations Curt!

Wings and Wheels

The Butte Exchange Club played a major role in the annual Wings and Wheels event sponsored by the Civil Air Patrol and held on June 11, 2022 at the Bert Mooney Airport in Butte. The Exchange Club’s role was to serve a complementary Pancake and Sausage Breakfast to the attendees. Voluntary donations to the Civil Air Patrol were encouraged. Our fifteen Club volunteers were kept very busy as about 1000 people attended despite cold and rainy weather. One hundred pounds of sausage and upwards of 2000 pancakes were served. The event, now in its second year, was judged to be a great success and plans are already under way for a bigger and even better show in 2023!

Installation of Officers and Directors

The Officers for the Butte Exchange Club 2022-2023 were elected and installed on June 7, 2022: Fr. Tom Haffey as Club President, Joann Bracco as President- Elect/1st Vice President, Brad Rixford will be Second Vice President, Linda Corr-Mahugh will be Club Secretary and Ashlea Neill will be the incoming Club Treasurer. Their term of office will begin July 1st. Congratulations to outgoing President Chris Rosa for a great program year and to outgoing Secretary Brad Cedarberg and Treasurer Andy Durkin for their many years of hard labor and dedication.


Also elected and installed on June 7th is the Class of 2024 Board of Directors: Pat Cooney, Doug Cameron, John Chioutsis, Dale Mahugh, and Walt McIntosh along with new Board members Dave Daugherty, Cullen Gilbreath, and Todd Johnson. These Board members will serve a 2 year term. A big “Thank You” to retiring members of the Board, Lyza Schnabel and Leo Prigge.


Annual Highway Cleanup

On May 18th about 10 hearty Butte Exchange Club members braved wind and rain to participate in the Club’s annual liter pick up on Interstate Highway 90. This year the section around the Rocker Interchange was targeted. At the conclusion of the trash collection, and Pat Cooney’s truck was full of trash bags. Following their afternoon of activity, the workers gathered at McKenzie River Pizza to warm up and enjoy pizza, a beverage and some good fellowship.