DEER LODGE — A benefit featuring a banquet, auction and team roping in Deer Lodge this fall raised more than $67,000 for Cal Stucky, an Avon rancher recovering from a near-fatal crash, organizers said.
His family celebrated his 51st birthday on Nov. 22 at Missoula's Providence Center, where he is slowly but surely recovering from injuries sustained in a head-on crash just north of Avon on Aug. 12. Stucky was driving a ranch truck to the Tri-County Fair in Deer Lodge when the driver of an oncoming vehicle fell asleep and veered into his lane.
Stucky was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he underwent numerous surgeries to repair internal injuries, a broken back, crushed pelvis and extensive facial injuries.
He's been at Providence since mid-October. He is beginning to walk with a walker and undergoes physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Cal's wife, Renee, has been by his side since the accident. She said she's elated by the progress he has made during the past two weeks.
After the accident, friends and neighbors came to the family's aid, with several neighbors helping the Stuckys finish haying.
Dick Perkins and Donna Graveley organized the Sage Mountain benefit dinner, auction and raffle.
"As word of the accident got out, many people called volunteering to help," said Perkins.
Cowboys and cowgirls from throughout the state competed in the riding and roping events organized by Ty Murray and Tim Garrison.
"Cal is one of the nicest guys in rodeo," Garrison said. "He is one of those guys who is friendly and always willing to help anyone." Unable to attend the benefit, Renee sent a written statement saying, "When something tragic happens to your life, you really come to appreciate the kindness of others." She is especially grateful for people who donate blood and the prayers offered.
"It is by the grace of God that Cal is with us," Renee said. "Words cannot express the gratitude my family and I feel for all that you have done. We have a long way to go, but each day is a gift. Please continue to keep us in your prayers." Cal's mother, Glenna, said she was "flabbergasted" by the number of people who attended the benefit.
"There are so many caring people, and I wish Cal could see this," she said. "We're so lucky and will never be able to repay people." Correspondent Pat Hansen may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cards, letters are welcome Because of the prevalence of flu and colds, visitation is limited at the Providence Center in Missoula, where Cal Stucky is undergoing various therapies.
But cards and letters are welcome: Cal Stucky, Room 487, Providence Center, 902 N. Orange St., Missoula, MT 59801 The Cal Stucky Assistance Fund was established at the US Bank, 302 N. Last Chance Gulch, Helena, MT 59601, 447-5215.