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Gianforte Announces Spirit of Montana Recipients: Faith Blackaby of Whitefish and Julia and Jillian Wynne of Bigfork

January 25, 2019
Press Release

Congressman Greg Gianforte recognized Faith Blackaby of Whitefish and Julia and Jillian Wynne of Bigfork with his Spirit of Montana commendation for their inspiration, leadership, and community service.

Faith, Julia, and Jillian have established book clubs that encourage girls to read and have produced calendars and books, the proceeds of which benefit local veterans and pet adoption centers.

Gianforte’s Spirit of Montana is a weekly recognition of Montanans for their accomplishments, dedication, or service. Gianforte highlights the recipient in the U.S. House of Representatives and personally contacts the honorees.

Gianforte encourages anyone to nominate Montanans for the Spirit of Montana award by contacting his office at 202-225-3211 or by e-mail at https://gianforte.house.gov/contact/email.

Gianforte’s statement in the Congressional Record follows:

RECOGNIZING FAITH BLACKABY OF WHITEFISH AND JULIA AND JILLIAN WYNNE OF BIGFORK

Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Faith Blackaby of Whitefish and Julia and Jillian Wynne of Bigfork, teenagers who encourage girls to read and whose work has benefited veterans and pet adoption centers in their communities.

Julia, a student at Flathead High School in Kalispell, hosts a weekly book club to inspire third and fourth grade girls to explore their world through reading. She also wrote Shelter Tails, a book featuring pet adoption stories from her community. The proceeds from her book benefited the Flathead County Animal Shelter.

Inspired by her older sister’s community service, Jillian, a student at Flathead High School, and Faith, a close friend and student at Whitefish High School, also hosted a book club for girls.

Jillian and Faith designed and published a calendar featuring photographs and stories about local veterans. The proceeds benefited the Northwest Montana Veterans Food Pantry.

For a calendar the next year, they focused on pet adoption, and the proceeds benefited the Humane Society of Northwest Montana.

Mike and Renee Wynne and Dean and Janet Blackaby have reason to be proud of their children. I thank the Wynnes, the Blackabys, and all in the community who support and encourage Julia, Jillian, and Faith in their service.

Madam Speaker, for their inspiration, leadership, and community service, I recognize Faith Blackaby and Julia and Jillian Wynne for their spirit of Montana.