Helena Belles hold annual Powder Puff game to support Backpack Buddies

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

HELENA — Each year, the Helena Belles, which are a high school service organization, suit up for a role reversal powder puff flag football game to raise money for a specific organization.

This year, the Helena Belles invited girls all throughout the high school to participate in the game held on Sunday, Nov. 8 to support Vineyard Family Services, which runs Backpack Buddies in the local schools.

Stacey Franklin, the Helena Belles adult sponsor, said that because so many people were forced to homeschool this year, she wanted to open the game up to girls in the entire high school, not just members of the organization, so that everyone could get together to have some fun.

“We do it every year, usually it’s our own Belles playing against each other and they sell tickets for charity,” Franklin explained. “This year since there is homeschooling. We opened it up to all of the girls at Helena High School to participate. It was kind of different, so we didn’t know what to expect.”

Normally these games have two teams, but because of the influx of more players, there were multiple teams that got together to play for several rounds of football.

Franklin said one of the great parts of these games are when people come out to support the girls competing, especially the boys from the high school, who she said always show up.

While many onlookers came out to support the Belles and raise money for this great cause, it was apparent with social distancing and masks that being able to have fun, family-friendly events like this are even more special to the community.

“We were thrilled to be able to do this,” Franklin said. “That is why we wanted to include the whole school community this year. Our girls have not gotten to do much of their normal service activities this year. They have been really limited and we are glad to give them the opportunity to serve and get together and we are really happy to be able to do it with everyone this year.”

Clearly, the community was enthusiastic about the Belles as many people showed up to support the group and cheer them on throughout their games.

The Helena Belles were glad to use this opportunity to support the Backpack Buddies mission of addressing food insecurity in school age children, who may not have access to food outside of the meals they get at school.