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GPCF Awards 2017 Grants to Local Non-Profits

POLSON — Because of the generosity of Greater Polson Community Foundation (GPCF) donors, a total of $468,600 has been awarded to worthy needs and projects in our community from 2009 through mid 2017.
The Greater Polson Community Foundation recently distributed $26,100.00 among sixteen local non-profit organizations as part of its 2017 grant cycle. The amount distributed represents the annual earnings from the GPCF’s permanent endowment fund. Gifts and contributions from donors have added significantly to the permanent endowment, which now totals over $500,000. Only the earnings can be used from the permanent endowment. The more this fund grows, the more earnings are available for GPCF’s annual grants.
The 2017 award recipients are: Flathead Lake Biological Station, North Lake County Public Library, Sunburst Community Service Foundation, Flathead Lake International Cinemafest (FLIC), Ninepipes Museum, Polson Flathead Historical Museum, Lake County Fairgrounds- Lights Under the Big Sky, Helping Hands, Polson Fairgrounds, Inc., Boys & Girls Club, Mission Valley Ice Arena, Lake County Community Development Corp, P.E.A.C.E., Mission Valley Live, Polson School District Gifted & Talented Program and Miracle of America Museum.
The grants support a wide variety of youth and community-oriented projects including: Leadership Development programs, Winterfest Activities, Outdoor Summer programs, Baby Box Project, Preservation and showcasing of historical data and artifacts, a beautiful film festival as well as a series of musical showcases.
You can find out more information about the Greater Polson Community Foundation by visiting our website at or contact us at (406) 883-4723 to ask us about directed gifts, donor advised funds, legacy gifts and memorial donations.
“Being able to support our community non-profits and their projects is definitely the highlight of our year. GPCF is able to fund these grants because our donors truly love making a difference,” GPCF president, Toni Young said.

Polson Clean Up 2017[4734]

Greater Polson Community Foundation Announces New Grant Funding Cycle:

The GPCF invites 2017 grant applications.  The 2017 grant application deadline is April 28, 2017.  Grant applications will be accepted from non-profit organizations with a 501c(3) status in the Greater Polson area.

Grants from the Greater Polson Community Foundation can make a significant difference.  A total of $414,755.00 has been contributed to meet needs in our community since grants were first awarded in 2009.  Grants are funded annually by the earning’s from the foundation’s growing permanent endowment and other available GPCF funds. Past grant awards have supported a variety of youth and community projects. GPCF President Toni Young says “our grant funding support to our community non-profits and their projects is a highlight of our year”.

The Committee is looking for how well the prospective project matches the mission and values of the GPCF as well as addressing critical needs that strengthen our community.  As you prepare your application, think about how your project can enhance and improve the lives of the people who live here.

The GPCF is planning a Grant Application Workshop at the North County Library in Polson on March 23rd from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. This workshop, which is not mandatory, will walk an applicant through the process and is beneficial to non-profits writing grants or foundation requests for funding.

GPCF will accept applications for pre-screen completeness until April 14th 2017 and complete applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, April 28th.  The complete 2017 Grant Application is available to download online at  where you will also find a list of previous GPCF grant recipients.  If you have questions, please contact the GPCF office at (406) 883-4723

Polson’s Fifth Annual FLIC Film Festival

The Flathead Lake International Cinemafest (or FLIC for short) is unspooling its fifth annual winter film festival during the weekend of January 20-22, 2017 at the Showboat Cinema on Main Street in Polson, Montana.

FLIC has been recognized as one of the top 15 Winter Film Festivals in the United States by the Audience Awards. David W. King, FLIC Co-Chair and producer said, “We’re excited to bring a diverse slate of 61 independent films to Polson and the Mission Valley for the fifth year in a row. Each year brings with it new cinematic treasures.”

FLIC 2017 will be screening full-length features, shorts, animated films, and documentaries. True to its name, FLIC is once again offering a broad selection of international films from countries that include Australia, Canada, Spain, Taiwan, Croatia, France, and the USA. In addition, there are 14 films produced in Montana, which is more than in any previous year.

FLIC kicks off on Friday, January 20th with an informal gathering from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Lake Bar on Highway 93 in downtown Polson. Film showings on two screens begin at 7 p.m. On Saturday, January 21st, there will be a break in film showings from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. for a second informal gathering at the Vine & Tap on Main Street. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served each evening.

As in years past, the FLIC judges have enjoyed unearthing FLIC 2017’s gems. This year’s standout films include North of Known, a stunning feature documentary in which professional paragliders and adventurers Gavin McClurg and Dave Turner attempt a full, unsupported traverse of the Alaska Range by foot and paraglider. Another rich documentary, The Walk, produced by Polson’s Jim Ereaux, profiles the Coast to Coast walk across Northern England with images and poetry. Narrative stories are also bountiful this year, including Life Now, Life Then, another Montana feature in which an introvert recounts the summer of ’94, when he and his brother plotted revenge against their abusive father. The weekend is packed with a broad array of short films, too.

Saturday morning begins at 8:30 a.m. with a FLIC’s popular free family movie screening. This year’s film is Home, featuring an alien on the run from his own people who makes friends with a girl and tries to help her on her quest.  Attendees are encouraged to arrive in their pajamas and enjoy a free breakfast sponsored by Polson’s Rotary Club, which also prepares the breakfast. This non-ticketed screening is free so seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

As with previous years, many of FLIC’s screenings will include question and answer sessions with filmmakers. Stay tuned for more details as FLIC’s grand weekend in January gets closer!

The festival closes on Sunday, January 22nd with a “Best Of” awards show, which will be held at Showboat Cinema. Approximately 20 awards will be handed out in various categories.

All films, times and events are subject to change. Additional information on the festival is being updated online at and/or Facebook or email

On June 18, 2014, officials from the Tribes, City of Polson and various interested civic organizations met to plan for the creation of interpretive sign panels for the waterfront trail from Riverside Park to Salish Point. The meeting resulted in an implementation plan for the drafting and installation of 15 beautiful signs that would educate our local youth, general public and the many summer visitors while enjoying the Polson waterfront. These panels are to depict the unique physical and natural landscape of the Lake, Tribal history and languages, general development history as well as the CSKT and Polson cooperation.

Polson Redevelopment Agency (PRA) through the leadership of Jules Clavadetscher, jump started the project and funding was identified from the PRA, the Greater Polson Community Foundation, CSKT Natural Resource Department, CSKT/Polson Salish Point joint Committee Fund and the Lower Flathead Community Foundation. Joanne Yardley, a professional sign designer was contracted to assist with the project and many local experts such as noted Tribal Historian Thompson Smith, provided input alongside the use of Paul Fugelberg’s publications and historical photos.

The signs to be placed on the hand railings under the Pier walkway under the Highway bridge and on the Salish Point Westside pier are still awaiting placement but the panels that are placed are currently providing a unique experience for walker’s & strollers. signsalish1

The GPCF was happy to present the Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation financial support to provide local scholarships to educate and mentor the next generation of artists.  This project provides important exposure and music education for Polson area musicians and provides world-class music to Festival attendees at an affordable price. Diane Kautzman, Director of Development for the Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation recently told the GPCF:  “What an amazing 2016 Crown Workshop and Festival!  The tents were overflowing watching the performances by participants, faculty, and Artists.  We are so blessed to have such great support from donors and sponsors, which allowed us to fund 19 scholarship recipients from Polson, Missoula, Whitefish, Kalispell, Bigfork, Lakeside, and Eureka.  The immersive experience is enriching and life changing for everyone involved.  Watching a young scholarship recipient working with Liz Longley on their original song, and then play it for Jim Messina, wow, you have changed their life and made a difference.  We couldn’t do this without the support of our local communities, so thank you for helping us fulfill our mission to educate and mentor the next generation of artists.”crownof-continent-scholor-recipients

“North Lake County Public Library is excited to have received a grant from the Greater Polson Community Foundation for a LEGO table.  Toys are tools that help children learn about themselves and the world around them. As children play, they learn to solve problems, to get along with others and to develop the fine and gross motor skills needed to grow and learn.  LEGOS are a fantastic teaching tool as well as an attraction to pull kids into the library where they can be exposed to other learning tools and resources.  Stay tuned for a launch day LEGO party!”img_5210


pms-mediaprojectAccording to the International Society for Technology in Education online, “in today’s digital world it is critical that all students gain the digital literacy skills they need to be productive, ethical and responsible digital citizens.” Project Media Mania will enable 6th -8th grade Polson Middle School (PMS) students to hook their audience through the internet, television, magazines, and newspapers.  This project is dedicated to the craft of writing, editing, photography, film, and documenting the news for PMS by producing the school newspaper- The Hook, an online digital version of The Hook, publishing the yearbook, and broadcasting news stories produced by students in PNN-Pirate News Network to approximately 500 students in Polson Middle School.

Project Media Mania will reach and impact student/parent audiences, online viewers, and viewers of public television SKC-PBS when broadcasted monthly. The Greater Polson Community Foundation grant will allow students to use updated, modern equipment and software when researching, scripting, filming, writing, or editing their news story, showing proof that kids can literally make the news.

 Specifically, students need updated cameras that are digital with high definition and can be connected with a teleprompter attachment so students can work in the field, computers that can handle video editing, and new software for students to use to edit their pieces. Students will have the opportunity to develop a thriving interest in current events, activities happening in Polson, MT, and the surrounding communities.  Additional skills that students would learn include: creating independent project-based news stories, developing self-confidence, learning to work as a team, mastering the art of recording and reporting, leadership skills, journalistic ethics, and creative problem solving.



The Greater Polson Community Foundation recently distributed $18,501 among nine local non-profit organizations as part of its 2016 grant cycle.  The amount distributed represents the annual earnings from the GPCF’s permanent endowment fund.  The award recipients are:  Crown of the Continent Guitar Scholarship, Flathead Lake International Cinemafest (FLIC), Friends of Lake County Fairgrounds, Lake County Parks Board, Mission Valley Aquatics, Mission Valley Ice Arena, Onward and Upward, North Lake County Public Library, and Polson Middle School.

The grants support a wide variety of youth and community-oriented projects including: amenities and exercise stations for trail users on Polson’s walking trails, a LEGO project and building table, scholarships for local guitar students, support for communication and literacy skills for Polson Middle School students, materials for STEM projects (science-technology-engineering-math) in Polson’s elementary schools, support for the FLIC film festival, a portable multi-use stage for 4-H and other youth activities, equipment for a new winter festival organized by the Mission Valley Ice Rink and Boys’ and Girls’ Club member swim lessons at the Mission Valley Aquatics Center.

“Being able to support our community non-profits and their projects is definitely the highlight of our year.  GPCF is able to fund these grants because our donors truly love making a difference,” said GPCF Board President Penny Jarecki.

Gifts and contributions from donors have added significantly to the permanent endowment, which now totals over $600,000.  Only the earnings can be used from the permanent endowment.  The more this fund grows, the more earnings are available for GPCF’s annual grants.

IMG_4297With a gift of $25,000, donors to the Greater Polson Community Foundation (GPCF) helped move the Polson Youth Soccer Assoc. (PYSA) closer to its final goal of building new soccer fields in Polson.

The size of the gift entitles GPCF to have the privilege of naming one of the four new fields now being constructed in the Ridgewater development.

“Our directors voted to name the field ‘Community Field’ in honor of those donors in our community whose generosity made the gift possible,” Penny Jarecki, GPCF President, said.

PYSA plans to have the four regulation size fields and a concession/restroom facility completed by the end of the year.

PYSA serves over 300 players, ages 4-18, and their families annually and offers both a fall recreational and a spring competitive league. Polson teams compete against teams from all over the state of Montana, as well as regional teams from Idaho, Washington and Canada, at tournaments.

In addition to the health benefits soccer offers to our youth, the Polson community and economy will benefit exponentially from visiting players and their families who will dine, shop, spend the night, and recreate in our city.

Four regulation-sized fields allow Polson to host 28 team tournaments with each team bringing 12-15 players and their families. Additionally, soccer games and tournaments are often held in the fall and spring, the “shoulder” or “off” seasons for Polson, and thus significantly extending our tourist season.