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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of October 16 - 22, 2002


Benefit proves 
valley has heart

Hundreds offer thousands 
in aid to Montgomery

"What is especially great is how wonderful the community is in their support and how living in a small town is so incredible."

— TYRA MACGUFFIE, Benefit co-organizer

Express Staff Writer

Tom Montgomery—a Ketchum chiropractor, Ironman triathlete, river guide, kayaker, marathoner, conditioning specialist and former U.S. Marine—learned Sunday the Wood River Valley has heart. Hundreds of friends and valley residents gathered together at a sold out benefit for the popular athlete, who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Montgomery was diagnosed Aug. 22 with metastatic adenocarcinoma, with a primary tumor in his small intestine. He is currently receiving chemotherapy treatment once a month at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Longtime friend Willy McCarty, left, was one of the organizers of a benefit for Tom Montgomery, center, Sunday at the Limelight Room in Sun Valley. Next to Montgomery, who is battling cancer, is his girlfriend Monica Maybo. Photo by Willy Cook.

Friends organized a benefit for Montgomery Sunday night at the Limelight Room in Sun Valley to raise funds to help defray costs of his travel and treatment. Montgomery has had to close his chiropractic office in Ketchum temporarily.

The friends who organized the event, among them Willy McCarty, Duncan Morton, Tyra MacGuffie, Esta Hoenstein, Rob Freeman and Bob Rosso, originally oversold the tickets for the event. They moved the venue to the Limelight Room in Sun Valley to accommodate more people and to have a better locale for the burgeoning silent auction. Again, the event sold out immediately and had a long waiting list. Eventually, 435 people paid $50 each for tickets for dinner, the auctions and DJ music.

Montgomery greeted guests for nearly an hour in the foyer at the Limelight Room during the cocktail hour. Guests purchased and wore baseball caps designed by Nikki Biddle and made by Davis Embroidery. On the front is "TM Ketchum, Idaho," while on the back is stitched "Hats off to Tom 10-13-02."

Rufus Brown was one of the big winners during the live auction after outbidding the competition for a Heli skiing trip in India. Photo by Willy Cook.

Also purchased by partygoers for $20 a pop were balloons with vouchers inside for donated prizes.

McCarty began the auction by giving an inspirational meditative speech while 435 people closed their eyes. "People put their energy into Tom or for anyone else who needed it to be happy and healthy," MacGuffie said.

"It was a positive energy flow and way cool," said another guest. "It was to get people to exude a golden light towards Tommy. To make you feel good and spend more."

Rosso made a short speech, followed by a written thank you from Montgomery. In it he thanked all his friends and those who were willing to help. Especially moving was a heartfelt thank you to his girlfriend Monica Maybo for her help, dedication and love.

Amy Marx shows off a new pair of skis which she won during the silent auction at the benefit bash for Montgomery. Photo by Willy Cook.

Larry Flynn conducted the live auction. The largest item—a Heli Skiing trip in India complete with five-star hotels and all meals—went for $10,000. At the end of the evening Flynn spontaneously suggested that people pony up funds to pay Montgomery’s $1,400 monthly rental expense in Ketchum. Immediately, hands were raised and within moments a whole year of rental fees had been pledged.

"There were people there who barely knew him and were raising their hands," marveled one partygoer.

MacGuffie said the evening was a huge success. "What is especially great is how wonderful the community is in their support and how living in a small town is so incredible. In three short weeks we put together a benefit for someone who has given back a lot over the years. Everybody just stepped up."

Donations can also be made to the Tom Montgomery Cancer Fund at UBS Paine Webber, P.O. Box 1329, Sun Valley, 83353.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.