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We’re not done yet: Over half a million to local nonprofits

by KELSEY EVANS
Whitefish Pilot | May 4, 2024 1:00 PM

Grants and special awards totaling $520,300 were presented to 68 Flathead Valley nonprofit organizations May 2 at the Whitefish Community Foundation's annual community grant awards celebration.

Recipients were joined by volunteers, donors and community members alike in a celebration of generosity across the valley. 

After handing out $385,000 in community grants, followed by $14,500 in special awards, Alan Davis, President and CEO of the Foundation said, “but wait. We’re not done yet,” before announcing a final $120,000 to Northwest Montana Community Land Trust for the acquisition of four affordable homes that will provide permanent housing to first-time homebuyers. 

“The growing generosity of our Circle of Giving donors has allowed us to increase our support of so many important projects and programs across the greater Flathead Valley,” Davis said. 

In addition to supporting the annual community grants, Circle of Giving donors, who contribute at least $5,000 annually, also support the Great Fish Community Challenge and the Foundation's operations and nonprofit development program. 

For special awards, the Whitefish Winter Carnival received the Russ and Mary Jane Street Community Service Award and an accompanying $2,500 grant.

Foy’s to Blacktail Trails received the Doris Schumm Community Spirit Award and an accompanying $2,500 grant to create a multi-use trail system connecting Blacktail Mountain, Herron Park and the greater Flathead Valley.

Flathead Youth Home received the Jean and Bill Howard Memorial Award and an accompanying $5,000 grant for the organization’s commitment to helping youth facing many challenges to feel safe, have a sense of belonging and find a place to call home.  

Whitefish resident John Collins received the Founders Leadership Award for his leadership in philanthropy, board service and conservation. Collins’ directed his $2,500 grant to FAST Blackfeet, who are dedicated to building food sovereignty within the Blackfeet Nation. 

The Foundation also recognized 11 Flathead Valley residents who have served a local nonprofit organization for 20 years or more, including Julie Balch, North Valley Search and Rescue; Tina Bertram, North Valley Music School; Clay Colby and Bob Zahler, DREAM Adaptive Recreation; James Dion, Flathead County Search and Rescue; Ardelle Fauske, Pat Carter, Lois Schwegel and Rick Kinonen, Whitefish Community Center; Carrie Nelson, Conrad Mansion Museum; and Daria Perez, Whitefish Community Foundation.  

“We feel privileged to invest in so many community nonprofits that work hard every day to increase the quality of life of our communities,” Davis said. 

For more information, visit whitefishcommunityfoundation.org.

The following 64 organizations received a Community Grant: 

• 406 for Kids, $5,000 to support families with children undergoing treatment at Logan Health Children’s 

• Abbie Shelter, $10,000 for emergency hotel services for survivors of domestic violence 

• Alano Club of Kalispell, $8,000 for new carpeting in the meeting facility 

• Alpine Theatre Project, $2,500 for a youth Broadway summer camp 

• Bigfork Food Bank, $7,500 to purchase a backup generator 

• Center for Restorative Youth Justice, $3,000 to share the story of CRYJ through film 

• CF-WF High School Swim Teams, $5,000 for the self-funded Whitefish High School Swim Team

 • City of Whitefish Fire Department, $7,000 to purchase a mobile radio  

• City of Whitefish Parks and Recreation, $8,000 for youth scholarships to attend after-school and  summer programs 

• Code Girls United, $7,000 to support new coding programs at Eureka Middle School 

 • Columbia Falls Academic Foundation, $5,500 to create academic enhancement opportunities

 • Columbia Falls School District, $7,500 for the Columbia Falls Bookmobile program 

• Community Action Partnership of NW MT, $10,000 to support the Home Again Project for Flathead Valley residents struggling with homelessness 

• Crown of the Continent Choir, $2,750 to offer choir programs for the community 

• Discovery Developmental Center, $8,000 to install a security system 

• DREAM Adaptive Recreation, $7,000 to purchase a program truck 

• Evergreen Community Partners, $10,000 for the Evergreen sidewalk safety project

 • Evergreen School District, $7,000 for the Evergreen Fitness Team after-school and summer program 

• FAST Blackfeet, $7,500 to support the Oyo’p Food Pantry 

• Feet by Feat, $2,500 for the Tap Live! youth summer camp 

• Flathead 4-H Foundation, $6,000 for electrical upgrades at Loon Lake 4-H Camp 

• Flathead Area Mountain Bikers, $7,000 to purchase a trail crew work truck 

• Flathead Lakers, $3,000 to support outreach efforts for the Living in the Flathead Guide 

• Flathead Land Trust, $7,250 to connect the Harrell Forest Trails to the Swan River Nature Trail 

• Flathead Rivers Alliance, $6,000 for ADA river access sites on the North and Middle forks 

• Flathead Shelter Friends, $6,000 for an intercom system at the Flathead County Animal Shelter

 • Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center, $7,500 for repairs to the weather station 

• Glacier Institute, $3,000 for emergency medical and safety equipment upgrades 

• Glacier Nordic Club, $6,500 for upgrades to the Nordic ski rental fleet

• Glacier Symphony, Orchestra & Chorale, $5,000 to purchase a utility trailer 

• Glacier Twins American Legion Baseball, $5,000 for program support 

• Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley, $7,000 to create seasonal housing for volunteers 

• Housing Whitefish, $7,000 for the Whitefish Workforce Assistance Program 

• Kalispell Aquatic Swim Team Club, $5,000 for program support 

• Logan Health Foundation, $7,000 for ASSIST Flathead to provide transportation to medical  appointments 

• Montana Wild Wings Recovery Center, $6,000 for live raptor educational programs 

• My Glacier Village, $6,000 to support the AGEWISE – A Plan for Aging project

 • Nate Chute Foundation, $7,500 to support the First Response for Rescue Training program 

• North Valley Food Bank, $7,500 to construct a new community kitchen 

• North Valley Music School, $6,000 for free community music jams 

• NorthWest Montana Veterans Food Pantry, $4,000 to support the Libby Stand Down event 

•Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center, $7,500 for summer youth camp scholarships

• Senior Mobile Home Repair Program, $7,500 to help seniors remain in safe homes 

• Serious JuJu Skate Works, $4,000 to support skate park and healthy meals programs for youth 

• Ski Heritage Museum, $4,500 for the “Hell Roaring Trailhead” oral histories project 

• Sparrow’s Nest of NW MT, $7,500 to install an air conditioning system in the youth home 

 • Stumptown Art Studio, $7,500 for repairs to the studio flooring 

• The U of M Foundation – Flathead Lake Biological Station, $5,000 for ecological and water quality  monitoring of Flathead Lake 

• Valley Neighbors of the Flathead, $5,000 to support equitable legal access for immigrants

 • Well Montana, $2,900 to provide mental wellness resources for employees of local businesses 

• Whitefish Community Center, $5,400 for a toenail care clinic 

• Whitefish Community Garden, $3,500 to restore and upgrade the orchard and garden beds 

• Whitefish Community School, $8,000 for high-quality daycare programs  

• Whitefish Freestyle, $5,000 for youth scholarships 

• Whitefish High School Baseball, $5,000 for program support 

• Whitefish Lake Institute, $7,000 for the replacement of a flow meter 

• Whitefish Legacy Partners, $6,000 to develop outdoor education curriculum

 • Whitefish Review, $5,000 for art and literary events 

• Whitefish Safe Grad Night, $3,500 for an all-night graduation event at The Wave 

• Whitefish School District #44, $10,000 to replace the curtains at the Performing Arts Center 

• Whitefish School District Education Fund, $4,500 to purchase equipment for Muldown Elementary

 • Whitefish Shines, $6,000 to restore the historic snowflake decorations 

• Writing Coaches of Montana, $6,000 to support the Columbia Falls High School program  

• Whitefish Winter Carnival, $5,000 for the 2025 parade