The friends and neighbors of Bynum rancher Marvin Baker are inviting everyone to attend a benefit for him on Saturday, April 20, at the Stage Stop Inn Rocky Mountain Convention Center in Choteau.
Baker, 62, remains hospitalized at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, where he is in long-term rehabilitation after suffering a serious spinal cord injury in the calving barn on Feb. 6.
A Choteau native, Marv, and his wife, Vicki (Perkins) Baker, run the Bynum Livestock Ranch with their grown children Matt and Kara (Bandow) Baker of Bynum and Mary (Baker) and Tyler Youderian of Stanford. The family operation raises grain, hay and cattle along Muddy Creek in Teton County.
While the family has health insurance, they are incurring many uncovered medical costs. Vicki is staying in Salt Lake with Marvin through his recovery. Funds raised through the benefit and donations will be used to help with outpatient rehab and for retrofitting Marv and Vicki’s home to be handicapped accessible, if necessary.
The benefit will start at 5 p.m. with a free-will offering dinner. The Teton CattleWomen will serve a hearty meal of sliced roast beef, coleslaw, baked beans and rolls. Christians Meats of Valier, the Miller Hutterite Colony, Alpine Touch and Bylers Baker of Choteau have all donated goods for the meal.
In addition to the dinner, there will be a silent auction, a bake sale, raffle ticket sales for one or more rifles, and a live auction that will start at 7:30 p.m. Jerry Collins of Collins Auction Service at Pendroy will serve as the auctioneer.
Diane Collins of Bynum and Wendy Martin of Pendroy are working with a committee on the benefit. Anyone who wants to make a donation for the bake sale, the silent auction or the live auction can contact Collins at 590-4132 or Martin at 750-5586.
Volunteers are also welcome to help with the event. The Pendroy Scouts are already planning to help out during the meal.
Donations for the benefit are continuing to come in. Some of the larger items that have already been donated include: gift certificates for hauling one load of cows each from Shawn Miller and Mountain View Livestock; 100 small square hay bales from Kirk Moore/Front Range Supply; a heifer of your choice plus insemination from Jay and Linda Rice; 10 tons of alfalfa from Will Snodgrass/Snodgrass Farms; two separate halves of pork including bacon and ham, cut and wrapped from Midway Colony; two two-hour sessions of metal fabrication from CSM Enterprises LLC (Miller Colony); a high school senior photo session from Loni Judisch of Conrad; two separate bundles of posts donated by Old West Lumber and Bouma Postyards; and a gift certificate for grain cleaning from Hodgskiss Seed.
Bynum artist Leslie Kesler has created a new painting, “Dreaming of Greener Pastures, a 12x24-inch acrylic on canvass to be sold at the benefit.
This painting depicts the area west of Bynum and Pendroy including Choteau Mountain, Ralston Gap, the Blackleaf and Mount Frazier, just to name a few places. “After a tough winter and calving season I think we are all dreaming of greener pastures,” Kesler said.
Dan and Gloria Lannen of Choteau are donating an original painting by Choteau artist Elmer Schock while Harold and Darlene Depner are donating a wood-carved picture.
Rod Luinstra of Choteau is selling 200 raffle tickets for a Henry H009B lever-action rifle for $25 each. That drawing will be held on July 4.
Marvin was injured in an accident that occurred on the home ranch just east of Bynum. He was working with another man to get a calving heifer into a pen, when another heifer became aggressive and hit both of them from behind. While the other man was mostly unhurt, Marvin was thrown over a panel and landed on the back of his neck, fracturing his C5 vertebrae and injuring his spinal cord. He also suffered a concussion and a broken sternum.
He was initially taken by ambulance to Benefis Teton Medical Center in Choteau and then to Benefis Health System in Great Falls. On Feb. 10 he was flown to the University of Utah Medical Center, where he underwent surgery to fuse his neck and relieve pressure on his spinal column.
He was hospitalized in the surgical intensive care unit after the spinal surgery, but on Feb. 20 was transferred to the hospital’s rehabilitation wing, where he is expected to remain for 10 to 12 weeks, at minimum.
In Facebook posts, Mary Youderian and Vicki have said that Marvin is improving. He is still confined to a wheelchair but is eating and breathing on his own. He has partial movement in his left arm and recently has seen movement and feeling in his right hand and in his right foot.
He is busy in rehabilitation with physical and occupational therapy every day, but he has been able to leave the rehabilitation unit for short trips to places in Salt Lake City and has enjoyed being outside and getting some sunshine.
“His spirits are good and he still finds moments of humor in this crazy adventure,” Mary said. “The team of doctors here have been amazing. They have not only been treating Marvin, but helping to educate the entire family on our new way of life. It is obvious that the staff love their jobs. We are very grateful for all your love and support through this adventure. Thank you again to everyone who has visited, called, prayed and sent cards. Please keep the words of encouragement coming.”
Marv’s address is: Rehabilitation #2601, University of Utah Medical Center, 50 N. Medical Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84132.
Also, benefit accounts for the family have been set up in Choteau and in Conrad. Donations can be sent to First Bank of Montana Choteau at P.O. Box 858, Choteau, MT 59422 and to Stockman’s Bank at P.O. Box 727, Conrad, MT 59425. Call the Choteau bank at 466-5743 or the Conrad bank at 278-8200 to confirm how to make donation checks out so that they can be deposited in either account.