About Befrienders

How Befrienders Started...

In February of 1993 an elderly woman tapped on Pete Merrill’s car window in a grocery store parking lot. Sadie offered Pete $.35 in return for a ride home. Pete not only drove her home, free of charge, of course, and cleared ice from her walkways, but was asked to come back and visit over cookies and ginger ale.

Pete recognized a need for older residents to maintain a social connection with the larger community. Starting with 106 names on the Meals on Wheels recipient list, he learned that there is a population of senior citizens in Bozeman with few opportunities for social interaction. He also figured there were many students at Montana State University who would be happy to spend an hour a week visiting an older friend. Together with key individuals at MSU – Bozeman and other active community members, Pete founded Befrienders so that people of different generations could form a mutually beneficial relationship.


Befriender’s Board & Staff

Cameron Pantano
Interim Director
Caryle Merrill
Board Secretary
Dawn S. Tarabochia
Board Member
Sally Hickey
Board President
Jane Schultz
Board Treasurer
Karrie Rhodes
Board Member
Amanda Torgerson
Board Vice President
Deb Albin
Board Member
Nicole Wanago
Board Member

807 North Tracy
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 522-8169

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