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Race to support school brings in the sharks

ARLEE – Teachers are able to buy much needed school supplies including a few sharks thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Friends of Arlee School.

The group organized what might be the 16th consecutive Buttercup Run on Saturday, April 15. The race was established in 1992, but it took a hiatus for a few years, so it was a guess as to just how many times the event has been put on. 

“We help teachers buy supplies to the tune of about $5,000 a year, to buy stuff the school can’t afford,” said Tony Hoyt, Friends of Arlee School member. “The teachers tell us what they are going to buy and we help them get it.”

Besides things like pencils, paper and maybe a musical instrument, the fundraiser also helps the school purchase sharks.

“Yes, sharks,” Hoyt said. “They are about a foot long. The biology class dissects them. Every year, they ask for sharks. Some schools like to do frogs, but they like sharks. They can learn different things.”

The fundraiser also raises money for college scholarships for high school seniors.

“We had five scholarships last year, and we don’t always pick the top in the class. We like to help someone who needs the help,” he said.

Layne Ryerson traveled to the race from Helena. He won the half-marathon. “There was one hill at 6-miles that was tough, but everything else was great,” Ryerson said. “I really liked going after the downhill.”

Pearl Ferlan, 2, traveled to the area with her family. She enjoyed the orange slices after her first one-mile race.

Janet McGahan designed the race shirts this year. They feature a group of runners followed by a backdrop of bison.  

Donations from businesses and individuals are still being calculated and accepted. More information - along with race results – can be found at:


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