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Alumni support breast cancer awareness

warmups 485Brothers Wally and Mike Feldt with the women's Bulldog basketball team.

For alumni Wally (’73) and Mike Feldt (83’), working to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer has deeply personal meaning. The Feldt brothers lost their mother Jean to breast cancer several years back and that experience ignited a focus on doing what they can to prevent others from experiencing the same loss. 

Jean Stamm Feldt was also a graduate of Montana Western (then Western Montana College), first attending in the 1940s, receiving her two-year teaching certificate. Jean returned to the university in the 1960s and completed a four-year teaching degree. She went on to teach at the elementary and high school level for the entirety of her career, teaching in Townsend, Deer Lodge and Dillon, retiring in 1990.

A lifelong basketball fan, Stamm Feldt even helped coach the Townsend High School team for awhile. According to her son, Wally, she wasn’t exactly a trained coach, but was always willing to help out when she could. Jean was a mainstay at UMW women’s basketball games during the Coach Engellant era and remained a passionate Bulldog supporter until her passing.

To honor their mother, Wally and Mike recently paid for warm-ups for the Montana Western women’s basketball Pink Zone game played on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.

“Mike and I are pleased to be able to purchase warm-ups for the women’s basketball team that will remember our mother and raise breast cancer awareness in our community,” Feldt said. "We have both been involved in raising funds for Pink Zone over the years, but being able to honor our mother has special meaning."

The warm-ups include Jean Stamm Feldt’s initials and will be worn each year for the women’s Pink Zone basketball game.

Since its founding in 2007 the Pink Zone has raised nearly $32,000 in Beaverhead County. All donations go directly to the Southwest Montana Mammography Program at Barrett Hospital in Dillon.

“It is remarkable to see so many people of Dillon coming together to raise funds to help care for women of our community,” executive director of Barrett Hospital Foundation Jim Gleason said. We have such dedicated volunteers and supporters and they are helping provide health care to women who would not have access to these services without their generous support. This program saves lives and we are grateful for the many people who make it possible."

Southwest Montana Mammography Program at Barrett Hospital provided $66,000 in services to uninsured and underinsured women in the community. The program provides screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds and clinical breast exams in the fight against breast cancer in Beaverhead County.