For the seventh year in a row, cadets in the Montana State University Billings-Rocky Mountain College ROTC are hosting a dinner to benefit the program.
The dinner, which will include a silent auction, live auction, dessert auction and raffle, is set for Friday, Feb. 9, at the Radisson Hotel. Ten percent of the proceeds will go to support the Stars N Stripes Wrestling program for kids, which is coached by military veterans; the rest will help fund the ROTC program.
The dinner will also feature two speakers, Mitch Hart and Wilmot Collins. Hart is a patrol sergeant with the Billings Police Department who served one deployment in Iraq and is retired from the Armored Reserve.
Collins is a former refugee from Liberia who was elected mayor of Helena last fall — the first black mayor in the history of Montana. He works as child protection specialist for the Montana Department of Health and Human Services and is also a Navy reservist.
The ROTC — the Reserve Officer Training Corps — is a college program that prepares young adults to become officers in the U.S. military.
Tickets are $30 each, or $200 for a table of eight, and will be for sale until Feb. 2. You can buy them by calling Cadet Amy Dixon at 672-2429 or Cadet Courtney Hendrickson at 591-3208. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information is available on the program’s Facebook page.
Dixon is a Billings native who already earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Carroll College and is now a sophomore at Rocky, where she plans to earn a second B.A., in computer science.
Dixon, whose father was in the Army, said she’d like to stay in Billings after graduation, serving in the Army and working as a tech educator/computer programmer. She said she joined the ROTC to serve her country, to help pay for her schooling and to get fit.
Hendrickson is a native of Laurel who enlisted in the Army in 2014, the year before she graduated from high school. She has been in the Army National Guard for three years, has completed basic training and put in 30 weeks of active duty, all told.
She is a junior, with a criminal justice-sociology double major. She hopes to commission as an officer in military intelligence after she graduates.
“Where life takes me after that, or where I’m going to live, I don’t know,” she said.