Flora McCormick

Flora McCormick is vice-chair of the Help Center’s board of directors. Her leadership and organization has led the center’s “Run For Your Life” fundraising race to nearly double in size.

The Help Center’s “Run For Your Life” 5k fundraiser in Bozeman last weekend attracted nearly twice as many racers as it did in 2015 — from 467 to 870 — and raised over $40,000 thanks to the leadership of Flora McCormick.

McCormick, 36, is vice-chair of the center’s board of directors. The Help Center is a 24-hour crisis hotline and referral service that works on suicide prevention and intervention.

“I feel so fortunate. It gives me so much seeing people connect,” McCormick said.

The professional counselor and her husband, a dentist, moved to Bozeman from Missoula five years ago.

Knowing few people in her new community, McCormick began networking to grow her client list. She joined and became president of the Bozeman Business and Professional Women and volunteered four hours a week for the next two years at the Help Center, taking calls on the crisis hotline.

After her first child was born — she now has two kids — McCormick became a stay-at-home mom, but she also decided to still work for the Help Center, leaving the hotline to join the board.

“I was raised by a single parent who was always involved in community and nonprofits,” McCormick said. And, she said, she’s always been an organizer.

Several people she worked with in raising the race’s profile also praised her compassion, leadership and communication.

Carol Townsend met McCormick two years ago when she also joined the Help Center’s board of directors. She called McCormick a humble, effective advocate for the center’s lifesaving suicide prevention.

“Flora absolutely deserves a pat on the back, a high five and many kudos,” Townsend said. “Clearly the growing success of that race is due to her leadership and the cadre of volunteers she’s drawn in.”

Troy Carter can be reached at 582-2630 or tcarter@dailychronicle.com. He’s on Twitter at @cartertroy.

Troy Carter covers politics and county government for the Chronicle.

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