If you’ve been a guest of the lodge, chances are you’re familiar with our mouse races (and have maybe even made a friendly bet or two). A much-loved tradition during our family season, mouse races have our local ranch mice going head to head in lanes as they race to the finish line to see who will win that week’s race.

To complement our mouse races and help raise money to bring a Week of Hope to life, in 2021 we launched a new contest called “Mouse of the Year,” where our competitors – including Fievel, Mouserella, Boba Feta, Julius Cheeser and Bugsy – competed to raise money through an online voting system, with all funds going to help cover the costs of Week of Hope, where we host critically ill children and their families at the ranch. After weeks of competition, Fievel raised $2,285 and was named Flathead Lake Lodge’s 2021 Mouse of the Year. 

And while we love Fievel for lots of reasons, here’s more about him…

Much like his great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather in 1885, Fievel came West in search of a place with more room to roam and space to explore. He hitched a ride as a stowaway on the Nor’Easter, one of Flathead Lake Lodge’s 51-foot Q-class racing sloops, and has been here ever since. He lives a quiet life and spends much of his time tidying up the boat barn, helping Chef Rob weed the herb gardens and has even been known to help Captain Scott with boat maintenance. With steady legs on land and sea, Fievel just may be the mouse to beat. 

From all of us at Flathead Lake Lodge, congratulations on becoming Mouse of the Year 2021 and thank you all for helping Fievel raise $2,285 for Week of Hope!

Looking ahead to 2022, we’re going to continue our Mouse of the Year contest, with all proceeds going directly to a Week of Hope.

Our 2022 competitors include:

1. Fievel, our returning champion.

2. Julius Cheeser. Don’t confuse him with the mouse who has a salad named after him…that’s his biggest pet peeve and that guy didn’t single-pawedly build the Bigfork Empire. Grab your bowl of white cheddar popcorn because his story is one of tragedy, but he doesn’t know that yet. There are whispers of conspiracy amongst the Bigfork Mouse-ators to end Cheeser’s life. He’s participating in the Mouse Race to bring honor to Bigfork and prove his power over the Empire. Given the magnitude of the race, some believe he is focusing on the wrong things and it will ultimately be his downfall, akin to fiddling while Bigfork burns.

3. Speedy Gonzales. This young mouse hails from south of the border, and has enough speed to run from Guadalajara to Bigfork, Montana in less than 24 hours. This strapping Vaquero loves competition and really loves leaving his fellow contestants in the dust.

4. Anonymouse. We’d tell you his real name, but…we don’t know it. Anonymouse was placed at the lodge as part of the U.S. Federal Witness Protection program. And while we’ll never know his true identity, we do know that his favorite pastime is winning races and taking (other mice’s) names.

5. Chuck E. Cheese. You know this mouse from his world-famous chain of restaurants where families can eat, have a good time and play. When he’s not making pizza, he’s here at the lodge strutting his stuff on the ropes. His business savvy shines through both at work and in the mouse race arena.

You can learn all about them – and get an early start on voting – at HopeKids.org.

Until next time,