BOZEMAN, Mont. - A fundraiser for Bozeman High School principal Kevin Conwell drew a big crowd at MAP Brewing on Wednesday. Conwell is battling Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Friends, city leaders as well as colleagues showed up to support someone they say is a big part of this community.
Although Conwell could not make it to the benefit, his friend Carl Nystuen is happy with the turnout.
"When you're out here trying to create awareness and help out a friend, it takes a community to get behind it," Nystuen said. He met Conwell in Leadership Bozeman, a networking program in town. Nystuen along with several others helped put the event together.
"We really go to know him and he got to know us working with one another. We really saw this as a chance to help one another out," Nystuen said.
Money raised from this event will go towards Conwell's increasing medical bills. In the crowd supporting the effort was Bozeman's former schools superintendent.
"Kevin wasn't at Bozeman High School when I was at the district. I've made it a point to get to know as many new teachers and administrators that come in. He was just one of those people that you knew Bozeman was lucky to have attracted," Michael Redburn said.
This is the second time Conwell has battled cancer. The return of his illness seems unfair to current teacher Keaton Ram.
"To hear that he has to go through this again is something that no one can prepare you for," she said.
Ram said she went to the fundraiser to give back.
"I'm a new teacher and he's such an incredibly supportive, and enthusiastic person. He cares so much for the students at Bozeman High School," Ram said.
Nystuen, Redburn and Ram agree the turnout is no surprise. This is a community that steps up to support each other and they will keep supporting their friend every step of the way.
Redburn said, "It's too bad that Kevin can't be here to see this."