Reids contribute significantly to community

The 13th Annual Fourth of July Parade will kick off Independence Day activities in Miles City on Monday morning. Taking their places as grand marshals of this year’s parade will be two Miles City residents who have made many noteworthy contributions to the community over the years, Cindy and Kelly Reid.

“The Fourth of July Committee picks grand marshals who have contributed significantly to our Miles City community,” said Mark Ahner, this year’s Fourth of July Parade coordinator. He particularly cited Cindy’s contribution of forming Wake Up and Lace Up with the late Rosa Neese and Kelly’s initiating the Badlands Bowl.

“Randy Boutelle will be driving the 1960s-era Ford Mustang Convertible in which the Reids will be riding in the parade on Monday morning, July 4,” added Ahner. “The parade will begin at 11 a.m. Entrants will start lining up at 10 a.m. and should report to the registration desk at the corner of North Montana Avenue and Leighton Boulevard. Parade participants will travel down North Montana Avenue to Main Street where the parade will turn right, go down Main and end at Riverside Park. The grand marshals will be toward the beginning of the parade.”

“This is something new for us,” said Cindy with a smile, adding that they are excited to serve as grand marshals for this year’s parade that has the theme of “Patriotic Down Home Values and Country Heritage.”

Cindy was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and resided in several western states before graduating from North Phoenix High School in 1979. She attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and Utah State University in Logan, studying accounting and competing in track and cross country.

Kelly, a 1971 graduate of Sacred Heart High School, was born and raised in Miles City. After spending two years in the Army, he attended Montana State University in Bozeman and the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. He then began working as an air traffic controller in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the couple met. They were married in July 1981 and moved to Miles City in January 1982. They have four children, all of whom were born, raised and educated in Miles City.

Cindy worked as an administrative assistant in several fields in Miles City and served as Custer County Treasurer from 1992 to 1994. In 1998, she went to work with her husband as the bookkeeper for their business and was general manager for the Miles City Comfort Inn and the Holiday Inn Express for 16 years. She now is the accounts manager for Miles City Sanitation.

For more than 30 years, Cindy has coached in Miles City, covering fifth and sixth grade and traveling team girls’ basketball, girls’ softball and track and field at Washington Middle School and Custer County District High School. She also has worked with several groups, organizing road races and triathlons in Miles City including the Range Runners in the 1980s, Row Run & Ride through the 1990s and the Badlands Bowl Fun Run since 1996. She also has served on the Badlands Bowl Committee since its inception in 1994.

For eight years, she served as a youth religious education instructor at Sacred Heart Parish and has been a church pianist at Sacred Heart since 2005.

Cindy also has served on the Miles City Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors since 2008, and was on the board of Montana’s state tourism organization, Custer Country, for six years.

In early 2011, Cindy co-founded Wake Up & Lace Up with the late Rosa Neese. 

“We experienced the challenges and expenses of dealing with cancer and its treatments while living in rural eastern Montana,” said Cindy. She added that in survivorship, they wanted to find a way to help others who would face the same hardships.

“Wake Up & Lace Up is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide financial assistance for eastern Montana residents who find themselves with unexpected expenses due to a serious medical condition,” explained Cindy. “Through the efforts of the locally-governed board and the generosity of the people of Eastern Montana, Wake Up & lace Up has been able to provide just over $103,000 in assistance to 157 different patients and their families in Miles City, Forsyth, Colstrip, Hysham, Jordan, Broadus, Baker, Sidney, Plentywood, Fairview and Circle.”

Cindy added that Kelly has been a member of the Wake Up & Lace Up Board since 2011.

Kelly has been involved in several different businesses for the past 34 years. At one time, he had more than 60 employees in three companies.

Starting in 1992, Kelly organized a series of boxing matches in Miles City featuring Montana’s Olympic boxer Todd Foster and other nationally-known boxers. The Todd Foster-Jeff Mayweather fight filled Denton Field and was televised by ESPN in all 50 states. Subsequent matches filled the Centra on the Miles Community College campus with capacity crowds.

In the early 1990s, Kelly led the Miles City Tavern Owners group in organizing the open container and open corrals set-up for downtown Miles City during the annual Bucking Horse Sale.

He formed Cowtown Promotions in 1995 with several other local businessmen to head the Montana portion of the Cattle Drive of 1995. The drive began in Fort Worth, Texas, and ended in Miles City with both economic and national exposure impacts on Miles City. That year, Kelly and his committee received the Harvey Wolke Award, given by the Miles City Area Chamber of Commerce for outstanding community service.

Through the years, Kelly and Cowtown Promotions have put together several concerts, which brought such artists as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Lacy J. Dalton, Blackhawk, Ronnie Milsap, The Bellamy Brothers and Ian Tyson to Miles City.

One of the original organizers of Miles City Little Guy Football, Kelly has participated for 28 years as a coach, board member and referee. He initiated fundraising that keeps the league a viable operation today. In 2008, Kelly was inducted into the Little Guy Football Hall of Fame.

Kelly and his brother, Rick, co-founded the Montana North Dakota All Star Football Game in 1994.

“This matches the best 34 senior football players from each state the third weekend in June to raise funds for Knights of Columbus charities,” said Kelly. 

Over the past 23 years, more than 1,500 players have participated in the game, which rotates between Miles City and Dickinson, North Dakota.

“Players spend a week in each town while preparing for the game, and the home team hosts 2,500 to 3,000 spectators every other year,” Kelly explained. “Through the work of over 50 volunteers that serve on the Montana and North Dakota committees, this game has become a week-long event that includes a players banquet, golf tournament, fun run, parents’ brunch, tailgate party, and finally, the game.”

The Badlands Bowl was listed by “USA Today” as the No. 1 Montana Community Event in 1998, and also was selected by the Knights of Columbus as their No. 7 KC sponsored event in the United States in 1998. 

According to the Reids, the game has been televised in up to 22 states, and has reached 2.6 million viewers, along with extensive radio coverage in Montana and North Dakota. It is now viewable on the Internet throughout the United States.

Kelly also organized the Signal Butte Classic, a season-opening football game for area colleges, as a fundraiser for the Badlands Bowl. As a result, Miles City has hosted football games featuring Rocky Mountain College-Billings and North Dakota colleges Minot State University, University of Mary-Bismarck and University of Jamestown.

“This coming August, Miles City will host Dickinson State University from North Dakota and University of Montana Western from Dillon,” said Kelly. “These games bring a large contingency of family, friends, alumni and college football fans in general to Miles City.”

In 2006-2007, Kelly and Tom Albers led the charge in raising funds to assist CCDHS in resurfacing the track at Miles Community College. In 2011, Kelly again teamed up with Tom and with K.C. Keith to raise approximately $350,000 in cash and materials to restore and preserve Miles City’s sports complex, built in 1939 by the Works Progress Association. They were presented with the Harvey Wolke Award in 2012 for their efforts.

Throughout the years, Kelly also has been involved in numerous other community activities including serving as a board member of the local chamber of commerce, MCC, Unified School District, Miles City Airport Commission, Town and Country Club and Miles City Club.

“The Reids have been active members and have contributed so much to our community for many years,” said Ahner.