U.S. Sen. Steve Daines recognized Kalispell resident Ted Koenig as the Montanan of the Week for his role in humanitarian relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands following the destruction of hurricanes Maria and Irma.
Daines’ statement of recognition was entered into the official Congressional Record Dec. 1, and highlighted Koenig’s selfless contributions in the U.S. territory.
“Helping others in need is common in Big Sky Country and Ted’s journey to St. Thomas is another example of this ethic in action,” Daines wrote. “It comes as no surprise that Ted served three years in the Peace Corps and was stationed in Madagascar. Thank you, Ted, for using your steady determination to help others overcome difficult circumstances.”
Koenig, a Red Cross disaster program manager, traveled to St. Thomas in late September and was among the first wave of relief workers to arrive on the island. He was originally deployed as a planner, but spent his first few days on the island distributing boxes of essentials to residents in remote areas.
“Being able to deliver those was a really heartwarming experience,” Koenig said of the food boxes, which contained canned goods, tortillas and other items.
During the subsequent two weeks, Koenig consolidated damage assessments on island properties to help guide long-term recovery efforts.
Koenig said he was “very, very flattered [and] very grateful for the recognition.”