Last Friday's Hamilton Christmas Tree Lighting had a special guest, Maddie Murray, Miss Montana. She helped the crowd countdown to the lighting of the tree on Main Street.

That was just the start of a busy couple of weeks for Maddie. She is presenting her "Gift Your Gift of Service" message to area schools.

Murray is from Corvallis and won the state title this summer. The sophomore at Gonzaga University has been visiting schools throughout Montana with her goal to inspire students to find their own unique talents and passions and then volunteer in the community. She believes that by goal setting, teamwork and helping others students can achieve their dreams.

November 27th she visits Hamilton High School, November 28 she's in Missoula at DeSmet Elementary in the morning and plans a busy afternoon in Stevensville with three talks. Lolo Schools will be her next stop November 29 and Potomac Elementary in Bonner on November 30. December 5th will take Maddie to Augusta and December 18, she's in her hometown of Corvallis, talking with K-4th grades.

She encourages girls to get involved in the Miss Montana Scholarship Program and the Miss Montana's Outstanding Teen Competition, which will be June 10-16, 2018 in Glendive.