There are certain times in life that change you. Moments in a crazy year that mold, inspire and leave you feeling more grateful that you could have ever imagined. And for us, this year that moment was a Week of Hope.

For the second year in a row – in partnership with HopeKids – we welcomed critically ill children and their families to Flathead Lake Lodge. And as fate would have it, this was done (for the second time in a row) in the middle of a pandemic. And for those few days, it was like nothing else existed. All that mattered was welcoming those families to this place that seemingly has some sort of magic to it.

While I was born and raised on the ranch (and am now raising my own family here), I never tire of seeing guests soak up our Montana way of life, and that’s never truer than when we’re joined by families during a Week of Hope. While Grandpa Les isn’t with us at the ranch anymore, his spirit is still here and the legacy he built – one made up of hard work, ingenuity and his commitment to treating people with kindness – lives on and shines a little brighter during this week.

As always, we could not (and do not) bring this event to life on our own. There are so many people who work behind the scenes to make a Week of Hope happen.

To our families – your determination, dedication and love of life is something that we felt honored to see and be a part of. Thank you for trusting us and allowing us to be part of your memories. To our staff, you’re one of the best parts of this place. As you do week in and week out, I had the pleasure of seeing your commitment not only to your jobs, but to the families you welcomed with open arms as you worked hard to ensure they left feeling better than they came. To each and every volunteer who played a part, you do not go unnoticed and the gratitude we have for you in matchless. And to our donors – a big thank you for the generosity you have in making this event come to fruition.

From the Averill family, we’re humbled, grateful and privileged to be a part of this with all of you and are looking forward to a Week of Hope 2022.