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Bridget McNamer Larson, formerly of Shelby and now of Whitefish, continues the fundraising mission of her late daughter, Sofie, with the sale of face masks with Sophie’s comforting words, “It will be OK.” The face masks are on sale at the Prairie Peddler, Northtown Drug, Shelby Floral and Gift, all in Shelby; and Glacier Pharmacy, in Cut Bank.

“It will be OK.” Now more than ever with the world in such turmoil those words of encouragement and comfort are desperately needed.

Sofie Larson was our daughter–mine and Jim Larson of Shelby–and the little sister of Britta Sekora of Helena. Sadly, she passed away in her sleep on Jan. 14, 2012, from an undetected brain aneurysm. Sofie wrote those words on her face two weeks before she died and asked her friend to take a picture of her. 

She was only 11 years old when she died, but she touched more people in her short life than many do in decades. 

Sofie skipped through her life sprinkling unbridled joy and sharing her love of adventure with all she touched. She lived life with zest and had a special understanding and wisdom of the meaning of life. She was wise beyond her years.

Sofie was known throughout the Shelby community for her amazing love of life and her connection with people. From her outings up and down Main Street, helping out in stores, visits to the Marias Heritage Center and Toole County Nursing Home where she loved to spend time playing the piano, passing out her Grandma Leona’s homemade cookies, and doing puzzles and game with her pals there.

She was a member of the Shelby Water Otters Swim Team, which gave her the opportunity to make many good friends in the surrounding communities. All of Sofie’s friends and family, young and old, were so very important to her.

Sofie’s creative energy and empathy level, especially for children and animals, led her to develop a deep passion for helping the kids and families of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital located in Memphis, Tenn. She had many projects in Shelby raising money for St. Jude and people have donated thousands of dollars and continue to do so in her name.

Her loved ones would like to continue her fundraising mission by offering “Sofie” masks with her words on them. The masks, designed by her Mother and printed by Barbie Alvestad of Big Sky Creative Works, Shelby, are currently available for $10 in Shelby at the Prairie Peddler, Northtown Drug, and Shelby Floral and Glacier Pharmacy at Big Sky Foods in Cut Bank. 

The majority of the profits will go to St. Jude after covering costs to help families in need.

As a mother, I am most proud of the kindness and thoughtfulness Sofie bestowed upon others. One young Cut Bank girl told me, “Sofie taught me how to be a friend.”

 After her services I was approached by a man who said, “All of this time I thought that I was unique and that I had a special friendship with Sofie. I now realize that is how everyone felt.”

It really does “take a village to raise a child” and this village did not let my children down. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

There is no doubt how much Sofie was and continues to be loved. Her spirit lives on. 

There are no words that can ever adequately describe the outpouring of love and support that was expressed from the community and from people far and wide, as we all came together to help send her lovingly home. Just like Sofie, it will never be forgotten.

“Never take today for granted, always be kind and loving and work hard to soak up curiosity and adventure. Most importantly, always have faith that it will be OK.”

–Sofie

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