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Pledge drive aims to keep Missoula carousel running

By Matt Gray, Meteorologist/Reporter, mgray@keci.com
Published On: Nov 19 2013 06:35:37 PM MST
Updated On: Nov 19 2013 06:54:39 PM MST
Missoula Carousel

The Missoula Carousel

MISSOULA, Mont. -

Missoula's own carousel will look to a fundraiser on Wednesday night to help make ends meet.

The carousel is owned by the city  and operated by the organization A Carousel for Missoula.  The carousel was built in 1995 as a gift to the city. It continues to be run and maintained by volunteers.

Thousands of disadvantaged and special needs kids ride the carousel every year for free.

According to tax returns, around $150,000 is made from operating the carousel each year. Yearly expenses are around $250,000. Combined with other means of profit, a $70,000 gap remains. This gap is mostly removed each year through grants and donations.

The Ride-a-Thon was organized this year to bolster fundraising for the attraction. Volunteers, including Mayor John Engen, will ride the carousel and not be allowed off until they've raised $200.

Riders will solicit donations over their cell phones or land lines that have been brought in for the event. A Carousel for Missoula hopes to raise about $7,000 from the event.

The Ride-a-Thon begins at 5:30 p.m. at the carousel in Caras Park and runs until 9:30 p.m.

Riders will be competing to see who can raise the most money. Refreshments will be provided and the event is open to the public.

To donate over the phone during the drive, call 406-541-6139. To donate online, click here.