UMW News BureauThe Friends of David Shepherd established the Shepherd Memorial scholarship to honor the Jackson, Mont. world champion snowmobile rider who died in 2001. With the scholarship permanently endowed, the organization’s fundraising efforts now help area youth organizations. By Wally Feldt [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Heidi and M.D. Peterson"][/caption] In 2002, a group of local snowmobile enthusiasts formed the Friends of David Shepherd to honor the Jackson, Mont. world champion snowmobile rider who died in 2001. The $500 Shepherd Memorial scholarship is given annually to a Montana Western student who is a graduate of a southwest Montana high school with preference given to graduates of Beaverhead and Ravalli Counties. The 2009/2010 recipient was Tana Linscott of Dillon, Mont. With a scholarship permanently endowed through the University of Montana Western Foundation, the organization’s fundraising efforts now help area youth organizations. Now called Climbing for Kids, the organization hosts the David Shepherd Memorial Snowmobile Hill Climb at Lost Trail Powder Mountain on the Idaho/Montana border. The event is an official Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Hillclimb Association event. “To have an event in David’s memory with a reputable, sanctioned hill climb organization is a great tribute to him and what he stood for in life,” spokeswoman Heidi Peterson said. “With the scholarship endowed, we felt this was a step forward to use the hill climb to raise money to benefit many youth in the surrounding areas...Having an event as big as this really supports the [Lost Trail] ski area and these communities in a very slow season, and we want that to continue.” In the past year, the group aided the Bitterroot Sparks girl’s fast pitch softball teams, the Salmon Hockey Association of Salmon, Idaho, the Beaverhead County 4-H Shooting Sports, and the Wisdom, Mont. Ambulance. The 2010 David Shepherd Memorial Snowmobile Hill Climb is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14.