Upcoming 'Pumpkins For Kids' fundraiser to support local childre - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Upcoming 'Pumpkins For Kids' fundraiser to support local children's services

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Keyan Pinnick, like most 6-year-old boys, loves recess and building blocks.

"I wanna be a grown up," Pinnick said. 

While Keyan's parents may not be as excited for him to grow up, they're thankful they could provide their son with needed speech and language therapy.

"He went from not being able to say a single word, to full sentences," Keyan's father, Brad, said, "and he's in Kindergarten now and doing really well."

Brad Pinnick said Keyan's two years of therapy at The Speech and Language Ability Center was made possible by Billings Scottish Rite. 

"It was a situation where our insurance coverage was lacking when it comes to speech therapy," Pinnick said, "so a group like Scottish Rite can help in bridging that gap."

Billings Scottish Rite began providing for Billings families in 1995. The organization raises funds to support families like the Pinnicks who have a child in need of speech/language therapy, but lack the funds.

Jered Scherer serves as Language Chairman for Billings Scottish Rite, and said the most rewarding part of his job is seeing recipients like Keyan receive the tools they need to succeed. 

"There is an application form they fill out, and then a couple of our board members meet with those folks to see if they qualify for that," Scherer said. "If they qualify, they will get funding for a clinic of their choice.

Billings Scottish Rite sponsors the following five clinics in Billings:

  • Speech and Language Ability Center
  • Pediatric Therapy Clinic
  • Yellowstone Therapy Center
  • Therapy Connections
  • Advanced Therapy Center

In order to continue providing for local families, Billings Scottish Rite holds an annual "Pumpkin For Kids" banquet and silent auction at the Al Bedoo Shrine Auditorium.

"We have this fundraiser each year so that we can provide the funds so those parents can afford to provide the therapy for children," Scherer said.

This year, Billings Scottish Rite's "Pumpkins For Kids" fundraiser will run on October 14th and October 15th at the Shrine. On Friday, kids are granted free admission and welcome to come decorate a pumpkin starting at 5 p.m.  Scherer said that children can also enjoy games and bouncy toys for a $1 ticket price. On the following Saturday, the Scottish Rite Pumpkin Banquet Fundraiser will begin at 5 p.m. and include a live and silent auction, as well as a nice dinner. 

Tickets for the banquet are $50, and available by calling the Scottish Rule Office at 406-259-6683

More information on the Billings Scottish Rite organization can be found on their website: http://www.billingsscottishrite.com/

Hear from Keyan and his family on KULR-8 News tonight. 

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