As family and friends mourn Pam Okon's death, Bayern Brewery held a benefit to honor and aid the Okon family. Friends and family weren't willing to talk on camera on Tuesday, because they said the loved one's at the benefit are dealing with a broken heart after Pam passed away just before 12 p.m.
While friends and family of the Okon's managed to get to Bayern Brewery for a beer to benefit the Okons, most couldn't find the words to describe what they are feeling.
50 cents from every beer bought between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday, will go to the Okon Family Fund to help the family pay for funeral and medical costs.
"We're a community brewery that started here in Missoula, so any event we can do to help the community we're all about," said Bayern Brewery sales and marketing manager, Jared Spiker.
The brewery held an event last week for the victim's in a deadly avalanche on Mount Jumbo, and a few of the guests thought a benefit for the Okon's was a good idea too.
"We were approached by a family friend after she visited one of our previous benefits for one of the victims of the avalanche," Spiker said.
A family friend of the Okon's got the idea for the benefit well before she knew Pam would pass away on the same day. Still, Tuesday's benefit had a large turn out. Pam's husband, Randy Okon, who was not in the accident, is a Missoula firefighter, and Pam worked for the Montana DNRC, making the family well known throughout the community, and popular among firefighting agencies.
"The 'Fill the Boot' is just like what they do in the city, when the fire men sit there and raise donations for charities," Spiker said.
As part of the firefighting spirit, a fill the boot fund was set up to allow anyone to donate as much money as they wanted to the family.
"It really just gives back to community, so if they want to put something extra in there for the family, they're more than welcome to," Spiker said.
Bayern also allowed anyone who brought back a Bayern Ecopack to donate their 50 cents for the return to the Okon family.
If you missed the benefit, head to Missoula Professional Firefighters, or find Pam Okon's CaringBridge for information dates for other events honoring the family. You can also make a payment to the Okon Family Fund at Missoula Federal Credit Union.