The line-up of films promised for viewers at the Wilma Theater in Missoula were sure to be stunning with “great prize give aways” and raffles. Items were lined up along the stage and we all paid full price for our tickets.
The event has grown so big that there are two showings in Missoula. One that started at 4pm and another that started at 8pm. I went to the earlier event because I’m a working man with a child. And looking around the theater I could tell I wasn’t the only one.
The first two films were duds – plain and simple. After about an hour of film showing a 50/50 raffle ticket was drawn along with a few prizes. Meanwhile all the good stuff like Yeti Coolers, awesome fly rods and reels and more lined the stage.
The second round of films came and one sad story about a veteran who has found healing through a program called “Project Healing Waters” brought awareness to the plight of many returning soldiers and in a unique film project, shined light on the pain our returning soldiers must endure. Ok, fine enough, it’s a good cause and I for one support anything that helps our soldiers cope with their sacrifices to this great nation.
But then a couple of nice feel good films with big river fish on tight lines were followed by a film about carp. Yes carp, it was actually pretty good and I learned more about carp than I ever wanted to know in ten minutes.
And the steelhead film, which is what I really wanted to see, as advertised in the magazine and on the website never appeared Before the light went up and everyone was ushered out the door with all those great prizes left sitting on the stage.
It was nowhere in the fine print – nowhere. When the event coordinators were asked about this their answers were about like you’d expect when someone gives you the shaft.
Apparently only the people without young children get a chance at the prizes flaunted in our faces during the whole show.