Mariah’s Blend honors late Helena student; coffee on sale at Last Chance Stampede

By RUTH NICOLAUS

There’s a special blend of coffee brewing at the Last Chance Stampede and Fair in Helena this weekend.

Mariah’s Blend Organic Fair Trade coffee will be for sale at the “Fair” GroundsCoffee Shop, located outside the exhibit building, on the south end.

The coffee is named after Mariah Swingley, a Helena resident who had a giving heart. She died in 2015 in a car crash at the age of 17.

Before she passed, Mariah had established a Facebook page to encourage others to be kind. She was kind-hearted and was always quick to help others. Mariah “was positive,” her dad, Jeff Swingley said. “She was always trying to do something decent for others.”

After her passing, her family and teachers decided to continue her legacy. One of her teachers wanted to honor her, so a “Niceness is Priceless” Club was formed in her memory.

The Swingley family had worked the coffee booth at the fairgrounds since 2006, with Mariah helping. Now they will sell Mariah’s Blend in memory of her and to raise funds for the Niceness is Priceless campaign.

Proceeds from Mariah’s Blend coffee sold at the Last Chance Stampede July 25-28 will go towards the Niceness is Priceless club, in part for scholarships. Last spring, two scholarships were awarded to youth who share some of Mariah’s characteristics: kindness, a shoulder to lean on, and the ability to put a smile on someone’s face.

Capital High School, where Mariah attended school, began a Niceness is Priceless was begun, with 55 students signing up immediately. The club does things to make sure kids feel included. They hold luncheons for new and special needs students, hold free car washes, give out candy, and last winter, after a big snow during the school day, cleared off vehicle windows in the school parking lot.

A second Niceness is Priceless Club has begun at C.R. Anderson Middle School in Helena, and several other schools are considering clubs.

Twelve-ounce bags of Mariah’s Blend coffee are available during the Last Chance Stampede and Fair for $11.

More information can be found www.NicenessisPriceless.weebly.com.