Thursday was Community Champions Day, part of a full month of fundraising for the Meals on Wheels program from Missoula Aging Services. 

The entire month has been dubbed "March for Meals", with a goal of $30,000 to help pay the daily costs of providing meals to home-bound seniors throughout the Missoula area.

Development Officer for Missoula Aging Services, Kathryn Hungerford said the turnout for Community Champions Day brought out a bevy of city and county officials, as well as media personalities.

"We had great participation," Hungerford said. "We had Mayor John Engen, County Commissioner Jean Curtiss, City Councilor Kaitlin Kopple, Champ Edmunds, as well as Jill Valley from KPAX-TV, she's been a long-time anti-hunger advocate, so it was good to have her along, as well."

Hungerford said Meals on Wheels makes between 200 and 250 visits per day to seniors in the area, and many times that volunteer is their only contact with the outside world.

Hungerford said one former Missoula resident who now lives in Denver still raises money for Meals on Wheels through her workplace in Colorado.

Her name is Tanya, and she has a unique way of raising money for the Missoula Meals on Wheels program," Hungerford said. "She has her friends over, and they have a lot of fun doing things like dial-a-joke and other fund-raising projects, and then whatever she raises, her company matches dollar-for-dollar, and they send the money back here to Missoula for our Meals on Wheels program."

Hungerford said anyone can donate by visiting the Missoula Aging Services website. She said the goal for the month is $30,000, and as of Friday, March 21, about $20,000 had been raised.

Development Officer for Missoula Aging Services, Kathryn Hungerford