Long time sponsor and Ales for Trails organizer gives big to help the group raise needed funds
In normal years, Ales for Trails would be right around the corner, and Billings TrailNet would be looking forward to hosting a big group at ZooMontana and raising more than $100,000 for trails. But as social distancing requirements curtail plans for the big event, long-time sponsor Vision Net, a business-to-business telecom company, has stepped up to give the first $10,000 to the group’s fundraising goal of $120,000.
Vision Net’s president and CEO, Corey Jensen, has a special history with the event, dating back nearly 20 years. Jensen was on some of the Ales for Trails organizing committees and has been involved in Ales for Trails ever since.
Says Jensen, “I use the trail right outside my house with my family almost every evening. We appreciate the trail system and want to see it grow for everyone to be able to use.”
And without donations from private citizens and businesses who see a benefit in the trails, trail development would nearly come to a standstill.
For this reason, Billings TrailNet must raise $120,000 annually to continue their work. This recent donation from Vision Net kicks off Billings TrailNet’s Virtual Ales for Trails event, where the group hopes to raise $60,000 from a city-wide a radio-a-thon on August 18.
“Radio stations and breweries in Billings have been amazingly supportive and are helping us host this virtual event,” says Kristi Drake, Billings TrailNet’s executive director. “This community has really come together because, especially during this pandemic, people are getting more use out of the trails than ever.”
The radio-a-thon is scheduled for August 18, with 10 radio stations participating to raise money for trails that day. People can text their donations to 406-412-2223 and prizes will be raffled every hour of the radio-a-thon that day.
For those who would like to donate and enjoy microbrews, Billings TrailNet has worked with breweries in Billings and around the state to provide an Ales for Trails punch card coupon, available for purchase on the Ales for Trails website and also at The Base Camp, The Spoke Shop and Yellowstone Fitness. The punch card provides one pint at 10 Billings breweries and Yellowstone Cellars, plus 12 popular breweries in Montana communities such as Wibaux, Miles City, Bozeman, Harlowton, Helena, Missoula, and Hamilton. The punch card coupon, valued at more than $90, can be purchased for $50.
Vision Net is a telecommunications company that provides a full suite of business-to-business IT solutions to financial services, healthcare, government, professional, and educational clients, allowing them to innovate and expand in Montana and beyond, with offices in Billings, Great Falls, Helena, and Missoula.
Other Ales for Trails sponsors this year include Spectrum Reach, Opportunity Bank, KULR 8, EconoPrint, Desert Mountain Broadcasting, The Billings Gazette, Mojo Radio, KTVQ and corporate members including The Base Camp, The Spoke Shop, KOA, Electrical Consultants, Inc., Sanderson Stewart, Yellowstone Fitness, Cushing Terrell, EconoPrint, Mailing Technical Services, Morrison Maierle, Moulton Bellingham, KARS, Boothill Inn, Axilon Law, First Interstate Bank and Dovetail Designs.
More information about Ales for Trails is available at AlesforTrails.org.
Billings TrailNet is a nonprofit (501c3), grassroots organization whose mission is to promote a complete, community-wide trail system. Our vision is the Billings area as a premier community for healthy lifestyles and active transportation where biking and walking are safe and an integral part of everyday activity. Learn more at www.billingstrailnet.org or call 406-281-1244.