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Watson Children's Shelter honors donor with new rock garden

Posted at 11:09 AM, Jun 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 12:11:05-04

MISSOULA - The new rock garden at Missoula's Watson Children's Shelter is the product of many things — hard work, dedication, but mostly generosity.

“The gift she left Watson is instrumental in moving us forward for generations to come,” said Watson Children's Shelter Executive Director Mark Roberts.

It’s the largest gift ever received by the organization; nearly $1 million will be put in an endowment account to serve the children of the shelter.

It is a gift that was given to three Missoula agencies — the Watson Children's Shelter, the Missoula YWCA, and The Nature Conservancy — by Barbra Harris.

After she died, the agencies were notified they were the beneficiaries of a large financial gift left by Harris.

For the Watson’s Children Shelter, Harris had left a known $100 donation before, but nothing like this.

“A plaque has been installed and will stay as a reminder for you never know the generosity of a stranger or the impact of a single person,” addressed Harris to a small group of people at the ceremony.

Alex Wolf, a Boy Scout in Troop 1911 working his way towards an Eagle Scout, designed the dedicated rock garden which is meant to be a safe space for kids to meet with social workers or their families.

“First wanted to make the garden specifically for her,” Wolf told MTN News.

The rock garden was a part of his Eagle Scout project, and he quickly realized how important this project was for Watson.

“[To] be a part of it and help keep Barbra Harris's legacy alive with," said Wolf.

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