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Date: Wed, Feb 10th, 2021

Need a Valentine's Day gift idea? Great Falls College Physical Therapy Assistant students got you covered

Taylor Becker, a Great Falls College MSU physical therapy assistant student, speaks to KRTV.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – The Great Falls College MSU Student Physical Therapy Assistant Association is holding its regular fundraiser this year just in time for those needing Valentine's Day gift ideas.

Regular, of course, because it's an annual event where the students give back to the community.

Irregular in the sense that unlike every other year this year's event is being held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The students decided on holding a silent auction online for 12 baskets full of goodies. The auction will be open until Feb. 11 at midnight so they can make deliveries by Valentine's Day. The link to the auction can be found at: https://www.32auctions.com/MSUPTAProgram.

The 15 students in the program decided this year's fundraiser will benefit the just-opened Toby's House Crisis Nursery.

"Everybody gave a pitch for various nonprofits, and then we took a poll of the whole class, and we decided on Toby's house," said Taylor Becker, a physical therapy student. "It's a great organization ... they give a place to little kids who are under the age of 6 primarily a safe place to come and stay for free. So those who are in a tough situation or a single parent, they have everything you need. You can come without a diaper bag or anything, and they have everything you need. But they do rely on donations, cash donations or physical donations of those things."

Becker, who is from Anchorage, Alaska, came to Great Falls when her husband was transferred to Malmstrom Air Force by the U.S. Air Force. She spent last year taking prerequisites and then applied and got into the PTA program, which is perfect for a military spouse since it takes a little less than year to complete.

"I wanted to finish a degree before we moved to our next base, and I love PT, so it's perfect," she said. "And there's a lot of continuing education, so you can take it so many different directions. Based on wherever we move, there's always going to be somewhere I can go and mix it up. If I get bored or something, I can just switch it."
Becker and her fellow students have formed a close alliance and despite the obstacles already have raised more than $900 for Toby's House.

"Each year, we work to raise money for a local nonprofit, and we also try to save up enough money to give back some money to the program itself," Becker said. "And hopefully, we can do that. Hopefully, we can leave something in the kitty for the next class. COVID kind of gave a tough blow to the class before us, so we started with $2.50 this year."

Brad Bechard, the physical therapy assistant program director, is pleased with the work of the students and is amazed at how many businesses donated items for the raffle.

"I'm proud of the PTA students," he said. "They took a unique year and made the best of it regarding fundraising. With limited options, the entire class came together to gather raffle items for a great cause utilizing hustle, creativity and teamwork."


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Record Number: 727


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