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Cornucopia

A thick slice of huckleberry pie to top off the Thanksgiving holiday, which brings an opportunity to focus on gratitude. With that in mind, here’s a heaping helping of huckleberries from the Missoulian’s editorial board.

First of all, a turkey stuffed with huckleberries is owed to the folks at Bonner Properties for continuing a tradition of delivering turkeys to their tenants. The tradition started roughly 100 years ago when the Anaconda Company owned the Bonner mill, and was revived by Steve Nelson and Mike Boehme after they bought the mill and nearby houses in late 2011. This year, the residents of 43 homes received turkeys delivered by a pedicab from one of the businesses now operating on the old mill site.

Huckleberry-embossed thank-you cards to all those who helped save the life of Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer after he was shot three times in mid-March. Earlier this month, the Highway Patrol visited Providence St. Patrick Hospital to give thanks in person to the doctors, nurses and staff who provided lifesaving care to their critically wounded colleague, as well as a literal token of their appreciation with a specially made commemorative coin. The Highway Patrol has also given out coins to the Missoula Police Department, Missoula County Sheriff’s Department, Neptune Aviation, and hospital and law enforcement in Utah, where Palmer was flown to receive critical care.

A healthy delivery of huckleberries to the Montana programs set to receive $10 million to improve and expand pregnancy and postpartum care for rural residents. Pregnant women in rural communities may have to drive long distances to meet with their nearest obstetrician, and even farther to find certain specialists. The $10 million in federal funding will support a program called the Montana Obstetric and Maternal Support (or MOMS, how cute) that uses a telehealth network to extend health services into remote regions.

Adapted huckleberries to Stephanie Land, a Missoula writer whose breakout memoir “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive” will soon be available as a Netflix series. The best-selling book, which chronicles Land’s struggles to make ends meet as a single mom, has been recommended by such notable individuals as authors Barbara Ehrenreich and Roxane Gay, and former President Barack Obama; it also made the Washington Post’s list of 50 notable works of nonfiction in 2019 and the New York Times list of 100 Notable Books of 2019.

Stacks of huckleberry pancakes to the local members of the international Sons of Norway who flipped Scandinavian-style pancakes for more than 200 hungry Missoulians last weekend. The local chapter boasts a history that stretches back nearly seven decades and now counts some 270 members. Proceeds from the organization’s latest bottomless breakfast, at $7 per person, were split between the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity of Missoula and the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative.

A savings account stocked with huckleberries to the young professionals of Montana’s Credit Unions for taking advantage of this year’s fall conference in Missoula to raise money for Watson Children’s Shelter. The members of the Harnessing Young Professional Energy group were able to present a check for more than $2,500 to the shelter, which provides temporary emergency care for children up to 14 years old who have experienced abuse, neglect, abandonment or a family crisis.

A name plate inscribed with huckleberries to all three members of Montana’s congressional delegation for pushing a bipartisan bill to name a post office in Missoula after the nation’s first woman elected to Congress, Missoula’s own Jeannette Rankin. The legislation introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Greg Gianforte, and in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Steve Daines and co-sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester, cleared the Senate with unanimous consent and now awaits only the signature of President Trump to be made official.

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