Benefis Ski Helmet Giveaway Saves Great Falls Mom’s Head

Ann Rambo got less than one day’s use out of her new ski helmet from Benefis. Her helmet broke in a ski lift accident the same day she received it, but the helmet saved Ann from a concussion.

Donors to Benefis Foundation make possible the annual ski helmet giveaway event at Benefis Emergency Department and Showdown Ski Area. Sizes are available for adults and children.

Benefis Emergency Department's Trauma Injury Prevention Program, which organizes the giveaway, fits the free helmets on the spot. 

Taylor Forsyth of Trauma Services and volunteers Marny Bergo, Nadia Bowen, Crystal Graf, Nancy Rossmiller, and Fen Keggi gave away 300 helmets this winter, but skiers/snowboarders who didn't get a helmet then can contact Taylor at 406-455-5212 or

“It’s just a coincidence we decided to go skiing the day they were giving out helmets,” Ann said. “Getting helmets seemed like the thing to do. The helmets were out for a reason.”

Ann noticed about half the skiers at Showdown had helmets on, which marks significant progress in getting more heads protected.

“My head was saved because of the helmet.”

–Ann Rambo, skier

Beginners might think helmets are only for advanced skiers zipping through trees or doing flips, but any skier or snowboarder can run into a tree, collide with another skier, or have a chairlift mishap as Ann did.

Ann took ski lessons with her daughter, Kira, 9, and son, Blane, 6, before attempting the chairlift.

“I was trying to get my son off the lift when I crashed,” she said.

Her head slammed into the chair as she fell. Then her head bounced.

“My head was saved because of the helmet,” she said. “Thankfully, I had the helmet on, or I would have had a concussion, no doubt. It protected me.”

Instead of a far worse outcome, she only suffered a sore neck.

Ann’s children also use free bike helmets from Benefis Foundation donors.

“My kids have grown up wearing the helmets when they ride a bike or scooter. It’s just what they do,” she said.

Thanks to Benefis Foundation donors, for many skiers, including Ann and her family, ski equipment will always include a helmet.