WINGS began with the recognition of a financial need to help local cancer patients with "out-of-pocket" expenses related to cancer treatment. The Expenses. not typically covered by medical insurance, can include: transportation, meals and lodging. The WINGS dream grew out discussions among a cancer patient, a doctor and a social worker here in the Flathead Valley in early 1995. A central theme among these early discussions was a strong desire on the part of the cancer patient to give back to the community for the financial generosity he had received from friends and other community members in his long and very expensive battle against cancer. These discussions eventually grew to include cancer patients in the Lincoln County communities of Libby, Troy and Eureka who recognized a similar financial need.

Throughout 1995 organizational meetings were held, a board of directors was formed and WINGS was incorporated as a not-for-profit charitable organization with all donations being tax deductible. In early 1996 WINGS held its first fund raiser – a raffle that raised about $3,000. In 1996, the concept of having an annual WINGS Radio-thon was developed. The Sportsman Ski Haus and BEE Broadcasting were critical participants in these early discussions. The Sportsman Ski Haus was looking for a local community benefit to support and agreed to provide the location. Benny Bee Sr. of BEE Broadcasting is to be commended for his early commitment to the Radio-thon idea. BEE broadcastings on-air advertising, its enthusiastic DJs, and other logistics made the first Radio-thon happen in January1997. Without Bee Broadcastings and the Sportman Ski Haus' firm commitment, WINGS would not have grown to be the tremendous success and support it is today. In addition to the Sportsman Ski Haus and BEE Broadcasting, the WINGS Radio-thon would not have taken flight without the continued support of such community sponsors as The Kalispell Regional Medical Center, The Daily Interlake, Century-Link, KCFWTV, North Valley Hospital and many other community organizations.

In addition to the Flathead Radio-thon, an annual fundraiser is held in Libby, Montana in conjunction with the rural communities of Eureka, Troy and the "Yaak", . This fundraiser, known as WINGS Week, has been promoted and directed by a dedicated and energetic cancer survivor who also saw a need within these communities. Thru her efforts, an entire week is dedicated to activities which raise funds to assist local cancer patients. North Valley Hospital also sponsors an annual breast cancer luncheon in Eureka each May with all funds raised donated to WINGS. In 1997 the first radio-thon raised $43,000 and assisted 72 patients. Community support over the years has grown substantially as have the needs of cancer patients. In 2011 WINGS provided assistance to 161 cancer patients and the total amount provided was $189,884.

WINGS is governed entirely by a volunteer Board. 100% of the funds donated are provided to cancer patients in Northwestern Montana.. Those seeking assistance from WINGS can obtain an application from their physician, local hospital or at the address listed below or they can call (406) 257-WING (9464).

Applicants must be in need of financial support for transportation, lodging and meal expenses related to on-going, active, traditional cancer treatment and must reside in Flathead, Lincoln or Lake Counties.

The WINGS Board sincerely thanks the generous folks in Northwest Montana for their on-going and long standing support. All individuals who have supported WINGS thru donations, sponsorships and volunteer efforts exemplify the care, love and generosity of "neighbors helping neighbors".

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