The Institute for Peace Studies on Friday evening will present the Jeannette Rankin Peace Award to local contractor Terry Fettig for his work with several nonprofit organizations.
The award is given each year to a Montanan or person with Montana ties for his or her work toward peace on local and global levels.
Cindy Kunz, administrator for the Institute for Peace Studies, said Fettig, a Billings resident, was chosen because of his work with AIDSpirit Montana, a nondenominational group that provides support and spiritual services for people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and Hope 2 One Life, a faith-based group that promotes clean water, education and health care in Africa.
Fettig's work with the groups has taken him to several African countries, Thailand and Cambodia, where he helps drill wells for safe drinking water, build bio-sand filters for schools and provide drinking straws. He also works to raise HIV/AIDS awareness by meeting with families and providing educational opportunities.
"He works here and uses his money to fund the trips back and forth (to other countries)," Kunz said. "He just feels compelled."
Fettig was nominated for the award by the entire staff of St. Francis Primary School. He was contracted to help remodel parts of the school.
Kunz said representatives from the institute were holding a cultural diversity class at the school, and several staff members made a point to introduce her to Fettig, who was doing woodwork at the school.
"When they sent us the nomination, every single staff and faculty member signed it," she said. "He is one of the nicest gentlemen I've ever met. I'm just plain dazzled. I've had the good fortune of meeting all kinds of outstanding people working here, and he is just the best kind of man."
The awards ceremony is Friday night at 7:30 at the Alberta Bair Theater.
The Institute for Peace Studies, located on the Rocky Mountain College campus, will also award several high school and college students for the Gronhovd Peace Essay Competition.
High school winners are West High students Sarah Weller, Kiah Abbey, Allison Long and Ashlyn Young. College winners are Rocky students Farida Mohammud Mohammed, Elizabeth Ridder and Alex Rosengren.
Past Jeannette Rankin Peace Award winners include U.S. Sen. Mike Mansfield, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, Margaret Ping, the Montana Logging and Ballet Co., Greg Mortenson and U.N. Ambassador George McGovern.
The Institute for Peace Studies is a Billings-based group that promotes peaceful solutions and community health.