Thank you to our Live Auction Donors

1. Mighty Mo’ Angling Adventure for Four

Take on the Mighty Mo! The Missouri River House lodging donates its Mid Cañon House to treat you and three friends for two nights. All four will join Montana Fishing Outfitters for a full day of world-class fly fishing. OR, you can mix it up with two of your party fishing both days on this awesome river, known for its wild and scenic character, striking geologic formations, and of course, big trout. Garrett Munson, owner and self-proclaimed oar-jockey of Montana Fishing Outfitters, has a knack for finding trout, and a reputation as a fun and wonderfully professional guide. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a first-timer, Montana Fishing Outfitters will impress you as they share their knowledge, stewardship, and passion for our trout and the healthy waters they live in.


When you’re not hitting the water, the Mid Cañon House provides a host of other scenic opportunities. The cabin, located near the confluence with the Dearborn River, is the ideal Missouri River home base, allowing you to float, hike, bike along backroads or sit out on the deck, watch the river and enjoy a gin from your new flask from Gulch Distillers, 2019 top-prize winners in national craft spirits. Then head a short ways to Craig, Montana for superb smokehouse classics from Izaak’s. The Mid Cañon House itself comes with a full kitchen, bath, dining and living room opening up to deck overlooking the Missouri and two bedrooms. A small island in front provides a semi-private fishing channel with easy wading and perfect for the evening hatch.

Donors: Garrett Munson of Montana Fishing Outfitters, Dave & Sherry Meador, Izaak’s, Gulch Distillers

Please note: Must redeem before the end September 2020.

2. Silverbow—Original Carved Wooden Panel by Daniel McArdle

A piece representing a further progression in Daniel McArdle’s “fish with stones” series, “Silverbow” focuses on the healing and renewal of a Montana river. Although the original idea behind the series is inspired by Montana’s backcountry rivers and canyons, this particular carving focuses on the recreation of a river through ecological restoration. The 27” x 67” wood panel depicts the indifference of American ambition at the same time as the potential for healing when humans care for their fisheries. Prickly Pear Land Trust’s Sevenmile Creek restoration project represents a similar undertaking happening right here.

Since pointing his rusty truck west and heading for the mountains of Montana back in ‘91, McArdle has continued to study the natural world daily. A botanist by training, he uses a scientist’s attention to detail, integrating his findings into his woodwork and sculpture. His inspiration comes from walking the Little Blackfoot with a fishing pole, backcountry skiing near the Great Divide, or mountain biking with family and friends in the South Hills. He carves on wooden panels, carefully chosen for matching grain, using steel hand tools. The panels present a carving surface that is consistent in color, like a blank canvas. The carvings are later colored with water-based wood dyes applied with a brush. The dyes are layered, mixed and partially sanded off, in a process that is both intentional and experimental. “It is extremely fun,” says McArdle.

3. Western Sentinel—Original Painting by Leah Cupino

“On a hot July evening I took advantage of the smokeless sky and newly adopted trails on the southwest side of town. The sun kissed each treetop as it celebrated the sky. I paused, grateful to dwell in the beauty of the wind-bent trees.” Western Sentinel captures Mount Helena as seen from Prickly Pear Land Trust’s most recent acquisition of LeGrande Cannon. Leah Cupino seizes this single moment on a 34” x 48” Mylar surface. Unlike a traditional canvas, the mysterious and durable material allows her to pursue the story through a mix of acrylic, pastel, and graphite media. While Mount Helena serves as the central character in her work, Cupino plays with the idea of the mountain’s trees as personalities. “They are scratchy, stubborn, graceful and poignant. They hold us in place, keep us reminded that we’re part of the earth while stretching high. There are benefits to being rooted, to giving back from the place you take.” She explores these beings and the sky as her “color playground” with her mastery of multimedia. The work has been expertly framed and UV-sealed to ensure a lifetime of enjoyment.

Leah can be spotted almost daily in her downtown Helena studio and classroom, The Art Space. Helena’s natural surroundings often serve as inspiration for her work as she spends as much time as she can, squeezing out a little of what life has to offer with her young family in Montana’s great outdoors.

4. Spirit of Glacier Getaway

Escape for three nights to the magical shores of Lake McDonald in Glacier Park. Soak up the serenity in a modern, but quaint, off-the-grid cabin. Within walking distance to Lake McDonald Lodge, hiking trails to Sperry Chalet, and Mt. Brown, Glacier doesn’t get any closer. You and three friends, or your family of five can don your new Osprey day packs from Glacier Conservancy and hit the trails. Keep an eye out for any number of the grizzly bear, black bear, marmot, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, fox and an incredible diversity of wildflowers that reside in the Crown Jewel of the National Park System.

And how you feed your adventurous spirit—the choice is yours. Before the road opens to vehicle traffic, Glacier Guides will fix you up with gear and take you and your guests on a guided bike trip up the legendary Going-to-the-Sun road. Stop at any and every vantage point and sail down the wide curves sans vehicles. Or if you prefer to navigate rapids from a raft, Glacier Guides will take your crew down the wild and wooly North or Middle Fork of the Flathead. After a day of exploring, enjoy a wide selection of soul foods, fresh and local dishes, and cocktails at Josephine’s Bar and Kitchen. To top off the evening, do a tasting and get behind the scenes with a distillery tour for four provided by Glacier Distilling.

Donors: Aidan Myhre, Glacier Guides, Glacier Distilling, Josephine’s Bar and Kitchen, Glacier Conservancy

Please note: Must redeem in Summer of 2020, reservation made by January 2020.

5. Home—Handcrafted Sideboard by A.L. Swanson

Whether woodwork or conservation, it’s personal for A.L. Growing up on a farm in North Yarmouth, Maine, A.L. spent much of his youth in the native hardwood forests near his home. These forests not only inspired A.L. years ago to pursue his passion as a furniture maker, but, for this particular piece, they even provided the lumber. The mixture of maple, oak, cherry, and eastern white pine utilized for this piece were discovered, untouched, by A.L. after his father passed away five years ago. Using a sawmill built by A.L.’s father, the two Swansons had harvested the native hardwoods and turned them into boards decades ago. For Harvest Moon, A.L. is bringing new life to these trees cut from the family farm.

A.L.’s father’s legacy lives on too, as his farm was placed into conservation easements. Easements such as these allow, as A.L. says, “the future of more hardwoods trees to flourish, but also for people to enjoy that land as much as I did, forever.” Here in Montana, A.L. is honoring that same admiration and appreciation for the land by creating an original sideboard to support PPLT’s conservation easement efforts. To symbolize the many properties protected by PPLT for public use, trails, and habitat, A.L. inlaid stones collected from Mt. Ascension and Mt. Helena. With two sliding doors and a center bank of drawers, it’s the perfect piece to store ceramics, linens or collectibles. It is the first ever piece made from this lumber, hand-cut and hand-carved, from start to finish.

Please note: Not available for the Golden Ticket Raffle.

6. Private Dinner Party at The Hawthorn

Dinner, drinks, and music—this private party is simply the best Helena has to offer! The Hawthorn Bottle Shop and Tasting Room is opening their doors to just you and nine close friends for a spectacular evening catered exclusively for your party. Dan Bay of Wolf Creek Catering, a rancher-turned-chef, co-hosts the evening by preparing a coursed meal utilizing the freshest possible local ingredients at the Hawthorn’s own long table. With the Bottle Shop’s expansive wine cellar at her disposal, The Hawthorn’s Jill Roberts will complete the culinary ensemble with regional wine pairings. But the intimate evening doesn’t end with the finest dining and drinking in town. Helena’s own jazz duet, Lanie White and Ken Nelson, provide the evening’s entertainment. Nelson, a jazz pianist known for his soul and hard driving rhythms joins his expert ability with Lanie’s powerful vocals, fine-tuned through her years of thrilling enthusiasts of every style, Latin American favorites, jazz classics, and even 80’s pop. This private party is sure to be one you’ll remember for years to come!

Donors: The Hawthorn, Wolf Creek Catering by Dan Bay, music by Lanie White and Ken Nelson

Please note: Must redeem on a Monday evening between February and September of 2020.

7. Dinnerware Set by Sarah Jaeger

For this year’s Harvest Moon, world-renowned ceramic artist, Sarah Jaeger, produced eight, hand-built earthenware dinner plates. For three decades, Sarah has made pottery for numerous collections throughout the U.S. and aided Helena in becoming a major center in the ceramics scene. Alongside her career in the art world, she has been a devoted PPLT supporter, joining the land trust when PPLT was still a fledgling organization, guiding its efforts as board chair, and becoming the lead for our Community Conservation initiative.

Sarah’s recent creations utilize a low-tech method, whereby Sarah begins with a slab of clay, then a coil, and forms it entirely by hand, using only minimal tools before finally completing each plate. Not only is each piece painted with its own unique design, the plates are exceedingly rare as Sarah no longer sells her work publicly. She prefers to donate to organizations whose work she supports, first and foremost PPLT. While Sarah takes painstaking measures to create a cohesive set, the process results in very minor character differences—a collection of originals.

Donors: Sarah Jaeger

Please note: Not available for the Golden Ticket Raffle.

8. LeGrande Evening and Dinner

Get behind the scenes with Executive Director, Mary Hollow, along PPLT’s newest public land acquisition, the LeGrande Cannon property. Mary is excited to lead a tour of eight, starting with hors d’oeuvres and wine, along the historic LeGrande Cannon Trail. The evening continues on to dinner at a neighbors’ near the trailhead who will graciously open their home to you and your friends to enjoy dining with Mount Helena as your backdrop. Jeff Spurlin, one of Helena’s most treasured chefs and longtime PPLT supporter, co-hosts by preparing one of his classic gourmet dinners, while Chesley George from George’s Distributing provides wine for the evening.

This acquisition protects the iconic and historic Mount Helena while offering neighbors and a variety of recreationists beautiful views from the trail every day. The roughly 90 acres of freshly protected land at the base of Mount Helena is just the latest in a series of projects completed by Prickly Pear Land Trust, specifically for the benefit of our community. Learn how and why Prickly Pear Land Trust’s efforts at making land and nature more accessible, relevant, and sustainable have earned national recognition—and what to expect next!

Donors: Jeff Spurlin, Mary Hollow, Chelsey George

Please note: Must redeem before the end of September of 2020.

9. Winter Adventure in Big Sky

Enjoy the ultimate mountain adventure! Stellar lodging, gear tune-ups, and world-class dining awaits you and three of your friends in Big Sky, Montana. Get ready for powder as your four lift tickets get you access to more than 5,800 skiable acres. Big Sky Resort boasts 400 inches of annual snowfall and the most incredible views of the Madison, Gallatin and Tobacco Root ranges. Good news! Grizzly Outfitters is throwing in gold tuning for the entire group. Then, enjoy the freshly-groomed classic or skate skiing at Lone Mountain Ranch on their 85 kilometers of woodland nordic ski trails.

Enjoy each of the four days and three nights at your home base, a two-bedroom, two-bath, Big Sky meadow condominium. Before hitting the ski hill, grab your Hungry Moose pastries. Dinner for your party is included, too. The Spanish Peaks Mountain Club, located in the mid-mountain area, features stunning panoramic views of the Spanish Peaks Mountain Range-the perfect backdrop for enjoying market-fresh, Montana-inspired cuisine with strong influences from the Americas. Spend another evening and let the lively staff at Olive B’s Bistro entice your taste buds with its blend of Armenian, New York and Montana influences.

Donors: Big Sky Resort, Lone Mountain Ranch, Spanish Peaks Mountain Club, Grizzly Outfitters, Hungry Moose, Dave & Sandi Ashley

Please note: Must redeem during 2019–2020 ski season.

10. Lake with Cloud—Original Painting by Carolyn Caldwell

Having lived a beautiful and vibrant life, which was reflected in her work, Carolyn Caldwell painted her large landscapes from a rich and colorful palette. Caldwell volunteered and was deeply committed to Prickly Pear Land Trust. She took pains to be present always and appreciate each landscape for what it was. She carried each place with her in paintings.

In “Lake with Cloud” Caldwell captures the upper Missouri lake region on the Prickly Pear valley’s northern edge. With this piece, she reminds us just how lucky we are to live in the presence of vast, open, and unbroken nature. Carolyn showed her gratitude for the legacy of open space and wildness as an active conservationist. She saw it as an artist’s duty to get involved with conservation and encouraged her students, from Tuscany, Cape Cod, and Dallas to Helena, to advocate for the safeguarding of the natural world. Caldwell deeply appreciated the land trust, and devoted significant time to highlighting PPLT’s project work in the South Hills and across west-central Montana. Carolyn generously donated  “Lake with Cloud” to Prickly Pear Land Trust with the hope that it inspires generous support for our community’s continuing work in connecting more people to their landscapes, just the way she did.

Ghost Art Gallery custom framed the 48” x 48” oil on canvas, “Lake with Cloud”, to honor Carolyn, a longtime exhibitor, supporter and friend of the gallery.

Donor: Carolyn Caldwell, Ghost Art Gallery Custom Framing