In a response that surprised even long-time KYSS employees, Western Montana residents come through with over $42,000 in donations to help kids living in economically challenged families have gifts for this Christmas. 

It's amongst the highest totals ever in the history of the 26 years of KYSSMAS for Kids, and it's estimated your generosity will benefit upwards of 700 children in the Missoula area. 

The total not only shows the continued warm hearts and giving spirit in Western Montana but also marks a strong return for KYSSMAS after two years of having to adapt through the pandemic. 

With veteran Missoula broadcasters like Al Kessler, "Downrigger" Dale Moore Jr, Mark Ward, and Jill Valley lending a hand, Friday's drive opened with some concern over being able to meet the demand for assistance, which has been driven much higher by the current difficult economic conditions caused by the recession. Many agencies had told us of their concern to be able to help children from families being forced to sacrifice because of higher costs for food, shelter, and transportation. 

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The pace of donations, and interest in the donated auction items, continued to build throughout the morning, as business and service clubs jumped, and dozens of individuals, jumped in to push the total over $20,000 by mid-day. 

That's when the real magic happened. 

Organizer Bill Samsoe with the amazing John Maki by our KYSSMAS tree- Dennis Bragg photo
Organizer Bill Samsoe with the amazing John Maki by our KYSSMAS tree- Dennis Bragg photo

As Moore and KYSS' Denny Bedard were continuing the broadcast in the afternoon, John Maki, the operations manager at Direct Source in Missoula, arrived in the studio with donations he'd collected from more than 30 of his friends and business contacts. That totaled more than $7100. But the story gets better. After hearing John on the radio, additional money came through his contacts, bringing the total to $10,000. 

That late afternoon surge, along with other significant donations late in the day, allowed Denny to announce the grand total just before the all-day broadcast ended. 

And the total can still grow over the weekend. Cash donations are still possible through the website until Monday. That will give time for KYSSMAS organizers, and our financial processing partners, Watson Children's Shelter, to complete the donation lists. Then, the money will be used to buy gift cards that will be distributed to the children from our partner agencies. 

Can you say "Merry Christmas" Missoula? You've shown you can. 

THANK YOU! Photos from the 2022 Guerrilla Turkey Drive in Missoula, Montana

Townsquare Media Missoula would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all the members of the community who made the 2022 Guerrilla Turkey Drive possible this year! A special thank you to our sponsors Decker Trucking, KPAX, and Missoula Electric Cooperative. It was a fantastic day of giving. 🦃💛

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