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Mount St. Helens Institute in financial trouble due to coronavirus

Stay-at-home orders have financially hurt the Mount St. Helens Institute, which supports work on the volcano.

The nonprofit that helps tell Mount St. Helens’ story is struggling because of coronavirus.

The Mount St. Helens Institute says coronavirus shutdowns have canceled much of their programming and two big fundraisers with Bill Nye in Seattle and Portland. Program and event cancelations have resulted in at least a $160,000 shortfall, according to the institute’s website.

The institute helps do and support work on the mountain, such as supporting or housing visiting researchers, staffing visitor centers and education.

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They are worried about what the next few months will look like since so much of their work is in-person programs.

“It’s important to us to retain our staff, our permanent staff who have a lot of time invested and passion and institutional knowledge so that we can continue this work as things get back to normal, whenever that might be. It might be a while,” said Ray Yurkewycz, executive director of the Mount St. Helens Institute.

Nye will host a virtual live show fundraiser for the institute on May 16, and the institute asks for any support people are able to provide.

On Monday, May 18, KING 5 will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens on KING 5 News at 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tune in to see the volcano's history, how the landscape has changed and what we learned from the historic eruption.