It was called "TEDx Hieronymus Park" and became the first TEDx event held in Hamilton and one of only a handful presented in the state of Montana. The lineup of local speakers ran from 9.a.m. to about 4 p.m. Friday, January 18, at the Bitterroot River Inn, which is next to Hamilton's Hieronymus Park, providing the unique name for the Hamilton gathering, which had the theme "Uncommon."

Lead Organizer Naomi Gary said one of the toughest jobs was deciding who would be the 12 presenters. She said when applications were accepted, there were over 65 submissions. The committee worked hard to select local speakers or people who had some connection to the Bitterroot Valley. She said, "We ended up with twelve of the most amazing speakers we could've gotten."

Those presenters And their topics were: Nik Miller "Change is Growth," Karin Peterson "The Importance of Studying Rare (Uncommon) Diseases," Michael McKay "From Notecards to Noteworthy," Mike Leach "The Healing Power of Rituals and Routines," Dan Kimzey "Keep on Rucking in the Free World," Jessica Fitzpatrick "Autism and Community Inclusion," Katie Clarke "More Than Agreeing to Disagree," Land Towney "Public Lands and Waters: Our Nation's Greatest Legacy," Rachael Watters "Breaking Down the Stigma Surrounding Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders," Michael Needles "Is That What She Said?," Russ Lawrence "Wired for Wonder," Tim Fain "How Virtual Reality Can Help Make Our Stories (And Music!) as Visceral and Engaging as Possible." In between the live speakers, a sampling of recorded TED Talks were shown, including local author and Biomimicry promoter Janine Benyus. To get a glimpse of the day, log into the Hieronymus Park Facebook page.

Ticket sales to the Hieronymus Park event sold out within 48 hours, Gary said. TED restricts attendance to 100 people at the TEDx events to maintain the TED-like experience with their general guidance on rules and regulations. But more people will probably see the event. First of all, the Greater Ravalli Foundation helped fund live streaming Friday to many of the valley's high schools. And, when Austin Athman's crew edits and completes the video recording of the day, the TED organization is expected to approve release of videos to YouTube on the web. Naomi said that could be in about a month. We'll let you know when that happens. By the way, if you've never seen a TED talk, check their website - TED.com. You will enjoy what you see.