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MME Spring Fling delights clients, staff alike

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RONAN —Huge smiles, black suits and dancing clients were the order of the day during Mission Mountain Enterprises’ eighth annual Spring Fling.

Mission Mountain Enterprises in Ronan is a private, nonprofit corporation seeking to provide “high-quality, community-based services to individuals with intellectual disabilities.” A staple in the community since 1975, the yearly event was designed to help clients reunite old friends and have a good time.

And with 50’s doo-wop hits fighting it out for attention amid laughter and excited shouts, clients from Missoula, Plains and Kalispell were bussed to Ronan last weekend for the dance. In all, more than 100 people from out of town attended on top of MME’s 50 clients.

“It’s a pretty big crowd,” said MME employee Shawn Schlensker. “These guys look forward to this every year.”

Schlensker said his favorite part of the event was seeing the clients dance and have a good time.

“It’s basically for them to have fun and enjoy themselves,” he said. They get to see other clients and interact with people that they’ve gotten moved away from. I mean, we have clients coming from Kalispell and Missoula, so it’s just really neat. These guys really love it.”

And love it they do.

MME client David McCullough said he’d been doing sit ups and pull ups to look his best for the dance, and he was the first on the floor when the music started playing.

“I like this, it’s a lot of fun,” McCullough said.

Not far from McCullough, MME director of staff development Walt Woyden put Billy Joel to shame on the piano, shredding the keys and dressed the part with a black blazer, black sunglasses and black hat complete with a red feather.

“This is a really big thing for them,” Woyden said with a smile.


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