After Broadwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Mason Moore was killed in the line of duty in May of 2017, his widow says she felt spurred to do something.
“The foundation started, obviously, after my husband was murdered. Anger was obviously one of my emotions. I went through that period of just wanting to do something to fix it, and to be able to fight back for him,” says Jodi Moore.
She created the Mason Moore Foundation in November 2017. The foundation's mission to support law enforcement is three-fold: providing communication and education opportunities, awarding grant money, and showing support for law enforcement officers.
Since its creation, the foundation has given upwards of $20,000 to law enforcement agencies, including a $5,000 grant to Mason's department, which was used for K-9 program.
Of course that check is doing much more for the department than just providing some funding.
“I think that... we're recovering,” says Broadwater County Undersheriff Brandon Harris. “It's pretty tough still for us, but we're just getting in our cars and doing the best we can and just going out there and doing our jobs.”
Undersheriff Harris goes on to say, “I think I'm most proud of... the strength that Jodi gives us all, working with her, being around her kids, and with their goals moving this Foundation forward, it gives me strength and hope."
“I am not very strong, I think it might appear that way but I'm not. I don't like crying in front of people, so I try to hold it in check until I can go somewhere to cry. That doesn't always happen. But I'm only strong because of the people I have doing this with me," says Jodi.
Whether Jodi realizes it or not, her strength and the work of the foundation is changing people's lives, including those who were involved on that day in May of 2017.
Kylie Howard was the dispatcher working when Mason was killed.
“Obviously it was life changing. When you become a dispatcher and go through training you think of the worst situation possible...We all share the same hurt, just different stories. Obviously it's something I'll carry forever and the foundation helps a lot with that being able to give back and honor Mason."
Jodi plans to continue the foundation's mission; working on selling merchandise, planning two car washes in Billings and Butte this summer, and gearing up for their “Love Wins Bash” annual fundraiser.
Jodi says with every step she takes, she talks to Mason…trying to imagine what he would think, what he might say, and referring back to the letter he wrote her should something ever happen to him. That's where the foundation's “love wins” phrase comes from.
"He said don't focus on what happens to me, don't focus on the details. Which I tried really hard to do. Just focus on the fact that he loved me and he loved our kids."
That continued love is what makes the Mason Moore Foundation this week's Montana Treasure.
To support the foundation, you can purchase merchandise or make a straight donation on their website.