Fifth annual MS Barbecue at Eagles in Laurel May 21

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Photo And Story By Kathleen Gilluly Outlook Editor
Thursday, May 12, 2022
Carol Altman and Shelly Jansma outside the Outlook office recently. The women had just spent the day on the town. Altman is sporting a fun new hat she purchased.

Carol Altman and Shelly Jansma outside the Outlook office recently. The women had just spent the day on the town. Altman is sporting a fun new hat she purchased.

Though the years and the losses keep adding up, Carol Altman’s spirit after an outing with her best friend, Shelly Jansma, was high when she visited the Outlook office recently. The two had just had a fun day of shopping and lunch.

“We still have so much fun together,” Altman said. “It sure helps to have had Shelly through the years.”

Best friends since childhood, the two have shared every aspect of their lives through marriage, divorce, childrearing, getting older and Altman’s diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Over the past couple of years Altman has also lost two siblings and her mother. Her father isn’t in the best health either.

“It has been a tough time,” Altman said. “But, what can you do?”

Altman and Jansma focus on having fun together and working to fight MS.

The two women and their families have participated in the walk to raise money to support those living with MS since Altman’s diagnosis in 1993.

“Our families are committed to helping the local chapter of the MS Society as much as we are,” Altman shared. “Our team for the walk always included my mom and daughter and grandsons and all of Shelly’s family, too.” Because the walk was cancelled during the pandemic, Jansma doubled up on her efforts to fundraise for the MS Society with the barbecue.

Jansma organized the first fundraising barbecue to boost the donations raised by the Altman Ranch Team, so named in honor of the family ranch where she and Altman spent so much time in their childhood enjoying life. The ranch was later sold by Altmans’s father to the Nature Conservancy which passed it on to the BLM. It is now known as The Sundance Recreation Area. While both women miss those carefree days, they relish knowing the site south of Laurel where the Clark’s Fork joins the Yellowstone River can be enjoyed by anyone and that the Altman Ranch name lives on in their efforts to help raise money for those suffering with MS.

The MS Walk is this Saturday, May 14 in Billings. The sign-up process, as well as donations, can be done online at https://ms society.donordrive.com/index. cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive. event&eventID=767 Select the Altman Ranch team if making a donation. The barbecue will be Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Laurel Eagles.

“Come down and visit and see what we have,” Altman said. “There are a lot of good raffle and auction items.” Among the raffle prizes are a $500 Chico gift card, a diamond and pearl ring, a barbecue, a tool set and a two-night stay at the Ranch House on the Rosebud River.

For more information or to donate contact Jansma at (406) 661-1847.

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