Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - As part of his ’12 Days of Giving’ effort, Governor Greg Gianforte and his wife, Susan, visited Missoula on Tuesday and donated a portion of his salary to help fund The Lifeguard Group, an organization that rescues human trafficking victims in Montana.

KGVO News spoke with the founder of The Lifeguard Group Lowell Hochhalter just before the Governor arrived at the Florence Hotel lobby. He described the important mission of his organization.

Governor Gives a Quarter of his Salary to the Lifeguard Group

“At The Lifeguard Group we work with victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution, and we have a home safe house for adult victims of human trafficking here in Montana,” began Hochhalter. “The Life House (residence located somewhere in western Montana) has been set up and we've been open for the last six months, and it's exciting, but challenging all at the same time.”

Hochhalter explained why he was invited to meet with Governor and Mrs. Gianforte.

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The Lifeguard Group Rescues Victims of Human Trafficking

“We got a phone call from the governor's office and notified us that the governor was donating to the lifeguard group a quarter of his yearly salary,” he said. “And so obviously, as a nonprofit, that's exciting.  The money's great, but the pat on the back and the encouragement from the governor himself is, is something that keeps you going.”

The Governor Donated over $20,000 of his Salary to the Lifeguard Group

Governor Gianforte invited Hochhalter and his staff to posed with a giant photo of a check for $20,425 to assist in the work of the Lifeguard Group.

“We are thrilled that you're here in Montana doing this great work and our 12 Days of Giving,” began Gianforte. “When I got into office I promised to donate my salary, so this is a quarter of my salary this year for the great work you're doing.”

Hochhalter and The Lifeguard Group have been guests on KGVO’s Talk Back show numerous times in the past few years.

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