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These beautiful blooms are getting the tender love & care they need before they fill downtown Polson & Main street for everyone to enjoy throughout the summer. Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors, we are able to continue a 20 year old tradition that enhances the visual appeal and western welcome to Polson.  It takes approximately $17,000 per year to sustain this project. All the money donated to the Hanging Basket project is a tax deductible contribution and goes directly to purchasing the flower baskets, the expenses it takes to care for them all summer long. If you would like to donate to the Polson Hanging flower basket project, send tax deductible check to GPCF – Box 314, Polson, MT  59860 All support is appreciated.



Greater Polson Community Foundation Announces New Grant Funding Cycle:

The GPCF invites 2018 grant applications. The 2018 grant application deadline is Friday, April 27, 2018. 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 $473,000.00 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 two Grant Application Workshops at the GPCF offices – Lower Level of Salish Building – 110 Main Street, Polson, MT  59860 on March 8th (FILLED) or March 15th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Either of these workshop sessions, are available for the first twelve participants to register and pay $5.00 (light lunch included) and will walk an applicant through the basic grant application process which is beneficial to non-profits writing grants or foundation requests for funding.

GPCF will accept applications for pre-screen completeness until April 13th 2018 and complete applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, April 27th 2018. The complete 2018 Grant Application is available to download online at www.greaterpolsoncommunityfoundation.org where you will also find a list of previous GPCF grant recipients. If you have questions or would like to register, please contact Jennifer at the GPCF office at (406) 883-4723.


 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018  – Missoulian

POLSON — Ten years ago, Penny Jarecki happened upon a newspaper article about the good work a community foundation was accomplishing in Bigfork.
It made her wonder why the same kind of thing wasn’t happening in Polson.
So, after some research and an encouraging visit with folks from the Montana Community Foundation, Jarecki began reaching out to men and women who cared deeply about Polson to see if there was an interest in creating a new organization focused on improving the lives of people who called it home.

In 2007, a half-dozen or so began the necessary paperwork to establish a new nonprofit they would call the Greater Polson Community Foundation.
It didn’t take long to learn that Polson area residents were willing to step forward financially to help make this dream a reality.
At the time, the Montana Community Foundation provided seed money to new community foundations that were able to raise $10,000 as a match. In 2008 — the same year the stock market tanked — the fledgling Polson organization held its first fundraiser and began to spread the word through local civic organizations.
“Even though it was a scary time with the stock market, we were able to raise about $50,000,” Jarecki said. “That was the evidence that we needed to show, how the community would respond right from the very beginning.”
Fast forward a decade and the Greater Polson Community Foundation is now considered one of the top five community foundations of the 74 established in the state. Its permanent endowment currently stands at $650,000.
Since 2009, the Polson foundation has awarded $473,000 in grants for community projects that range from $53,000 to help with the development of soccer fields to a $15,000 grant for informational signs along the interpretive trail at Sacajawea Park.

The foundation also was instrumental in helping to jump-start the effort to establish an international film festival in Polson six years ago.
“At its beginning, the motivation was to do something in the winter time that would help support Polson’s economy,” Jarecki said. “The film festival started absolutely from scratch. It’s now recognized as one of the best winter film festivals in the country.”
David King, the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest’s co-chair, said the $15,000 the foundation has provided over the past six years has played an important role in the festival’s success.
“Film festivals don’t just pop up without an enormous amount of support from the local community,” King said. “The Greater Polson Community Foundation and other generous local sponsors … have been the bedrock beneath FLIC from the very beginning some six years ago. FLIC is now its own nonprofit. Its sixth annual film festival will be held Jan 29 through Feb. 1. This year it will feature 68 films from 15 countries.
“We’re proud that we not only were able to encourage them in the beginning, but also have been there along the way as they have evolved into something that’s good for our community,” Jarecki said.

The Polson foundation has one fundraiser in August. Last summer, the foundation raised about $30,000 at the event. Funding also comes from a variety of grants as well as memorial and legacy gifts. Jarecki said it’s too early to know for sure how changes in federal tax law will affect nonprofits like the foundation.The new tax law increases the standard deduction, which could mean that many taxpayers won’t be itemizing their deductions, including charitable donations to nonprofit organizations. “People may not be as incentivized under the new tax law,” Jarecki said. “The old way encouraged charitable giving. That could create some new challenges for nonprofits in the future”.

The foundation’s public relations chair, Dorothy Ashcraft, decided to offer her help after retiring from a teaching career.
“This is really a way for me to give back to my community,” Ashcraft said. “We do live in a wonderful little area that’s filled with people who want to do the same. The members of our board of directors come from all walks of life.”

Jarecki is encouraged by the progress the foundation has made in its first decade.
“There have been dozens of organizations in our community that have been positively impacted by the generosity of the people who live here,” Jarecki said. “Nonprofits allow individuals to accomplish something they couldn’t do by themselves or do for a profit.
“We have all kinds of organizations in our town working to do good things, but we also have a lot of needs,” she said. “We have a lot of good things going on in this town and I like to say the foundation has its finger on many of them.”

 

 


Passion for Polson big ticket auction items provided jet setting adventures long after our 9th celebration was over. Jim & Barb Sohm were whisked off in a private jet to Spokane to enjoy an exclusive weekend of shopping and dining

Dr. Nick & Coral Costrini were winners of the Denver Bronco get away, where Nick & his daughter took in all the fanfare at the Mile High stadium. The football game did not end in the Bronco fans favor but they loved the experience and family time.

Don & Barbie Wimett-Creveling were first timers at the Passion for Polson fundraiser as well as the winners of the Seattle Seahawks package. Pictured with their sons Jordan & Josh at the stadium, they added dinner at the Metropolitan Grill was nothing short of amazing.

A few of the other amazing auction items up for bid this year included a 90 minute Ultra light flight soaring over Flathead Lake, an exclusive catered dinner for 8  at the home of Chuck & Penny Jarecki, a four night stay in a private condo at Trump Tower overlooking Central Park in New York City, a fun golf weekend for 4 and a Flathead River Rafting experience. All the auction winners shared the same sentiment, they are all excited about next year’s event and warming up their bidding panels. What new auction adventures await our 10th Anniversary celebration? Mark your calendars for August 3, 2018 to find out!


Leadership Flathead Reservation is underway. We had a very successful Opening Retreat at Quinn’s Hot Springs in September and have completed our first session on History and Government. We have a group of 25 men and women, all up and coming leaders in our community. Our next session is on November 17th and will be focusing on the Arts, Culture and Religion. We are thankful to the Greater Polson Community Foundations and it’s donors for helping sponsor scholarships for our future leaders…

A Leadership Development Course for communities located on the Flathead Reservation

Keeping our communities healthy requires insightful leaders who have the ability to communicate and work effectively with others. To this end, many cities and rural counties around Montana provide a year-long leadership development program, ours is sponsored by Lake County Community Development Corporation. The programs are designed to facilitate development and growth of local leaders, provide opportunities to interact with other community members, and explore local relevant issues. The program spans nine months, starting with a retreat in September and eight sessions one day per month from October through May, from 8:00 am to 5 pm.

Mission: In partnership with our community, LFR, provides all participants with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills and experience to become involved community leaders.

If you are interested in joining our class beginning in the fall of 2018, watch for updates beginning in January 2018 on our website, https://www.lakecountycdc.org/Leadership_Flathead_Reservation and send in your application.

 


 

Polson Youth Soccer Challenge
GPCF loves sports and kids! In 2015 Polson Youth Soccer Association asked us if we would sponsor one of the four new fields for a donation of $25,000. We decided that investing in PYSA was a great idea, and named the field Community Field in honor of, and recognition of our amazing Polson community. In the fall of 2016 the GPCF Board learned that the PYSA was struggling to finish their beautiful new soccer complex. They needed to raise $84,000 to finish the work on their concession stand which had been partially funded by a grant from Rotary, complete the fencing, and grade the parking lot. We decided to offer them a challenge. If PYSA could raise $56,000 by August 4, 2017, our annual Passion for Polson dinner celebration, we would give them $28,000 to complete this phase of the soccer complex.
We are excited to report that the day of our event they were able to reach their goal of $56,000! PYSA has kids of all ages playing soccer on those four fields. They have hosted tournaments bringing teams from all over the state of Montana to play here which translates to an economic impact to the community bonus as spectators follow their teams. These spectators purchase food, gas, and lodging and love the beautiful views from the fields. The Polson Boys Soccer team has earned a spot in the state finals and we are thrilled to cheer them on!
Enthusiasm for the sport is growing in our community and it’s a wonderful, healthy way to keep our kids active.


Issue Date: 9/27/2017
Last Updated: 9/27/2017 8:17:47 AM | By Caleb M. Soptelean

News from the Valley Journal

A tile mosaic project that involved more than 100 students was presented to the public on Sunday.
The mural was a graduate-level University of Montana project for Cameron Decker, chair of the fine arts department at Salish Kootenai College.
Polson High School art teacher Matt Holmes, a licensed tile contractor who has completed numerous tile projects, involved his high school students and others in the nine-month-long project.
Decker said Holmes taught him how to cut tile, and Holmes said that in addition to his art students, the Boys and Girls Club and Upward Bound youth were involved, along with his two daughters, the latter which made tile turtles.
Holmes added his signature Charlie Russell bison skull to the top of the three-piece mural, which represents morning, afternoon and evening.
“We started with just words … thinking about Riverside Park, Polson and Montana,” Holmes said of his students’ brainstorming. “The board was full of hundreds of words.”
Decker said he just wanted to give back to the community with his project. “From jumping and fishing at the dock, to jumping in the freezing water at the Polar Plunge, to watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, Riverside Park has been a place I have gone my whole life to have fun,” he said.
Decker said the project taught him about teamwork and how to depend on other people to do their parts.
Holmes said it took three days for him and a number of helpers to put the final product on the back outside wall of restrooms at Riverside Park facing the South Fork of the Flathead River.
To see the project finished was amazing, said Kyara Fraga, a PHS junior who worked on some 20 pieces of the mural during her sophomore year.
“Just to see it finished and know we helped with it is a good feeling,” said Haley Doss, another PHS junior.
“It’s just been jaw dropping … to see the original plans to where it is today,” said Toni Young, president of the Greater Polson Community Foundation, which donated $3,000 to the effort. Suzanne Booker, the Cowan Trust and the Jarecki Foundation combined to donate another $3,000, Young said.
The mural consists of three 30-square-foot panels depicting Flathead Lake and various animals with a Kootenai woman included in the center panel.
Cleveland honored
The project also honored the late William Cleveland, a former Polson Police officer who died from cancer in November 2015 at age 50.
Cleveland’s widow Toni and her sons David, 23, and Nick, 15, helped place the final tile into the mural during a ceremony on Sunday afternoon. The tile is a replica of Cleveland’s badge.
“I think it’s beautiful,” Toni Cleveland said afterward.
“It’s amazing,” David said. “It’s awesome that two years later everyone is still coming together thinking about my dad.”
Polson’s Arts and Recreation Director Pat Nowlen said the city plans to add several benches to the concrete platform in front of the mural, including one with a plaque dedicated to Cleveland. A shade structure and improved lighting will also be added next year, he said.


From jumping and fishing at the dock, to jumping in the freezing water at the Polar Plunge, to watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, Riverside Park has been a place I have gone my whole life to have fun and I want to give back.” These are the words of Cameron Decker who is the Department Head of Fine Arts at SKC and is finishing his Masters’ Degree in Art through the University of Montana.

With the help of the Greater Polson Community Foundation, gifts from Suzanne Booker, the Cowan Trust and the Jarecki Foundation, Matt Holmes, PHS art teacher/licensed tile contractor, PHS students, Boys and Girls Club students and Upward Bound students, this dream is becoming a reality.

The project is a tri-panel (triptych) tile mosaic composition that will be installed on the west side of the Riverside restrooms. Each panel is 30 square feet (6’ X 5’) for a total of 90 square feet of mosaic tile. There are at least 120-6“X6” tiles for the border alone and an undetermined amount of tiles ranging from less than 1”X1” and up. Colors range from greens to blues to whites, reds, purples and yellows.

The far left panel will be a rendition of a rising sun, the middle panel will represent mid-day and the right panel will be the evening with fireworks, all occurring on Flathead Lake. A prominent figure of a Kootenai woman will appear in the middle panel, referencing a photograph taken by Edward Curtis in his visit to the lake. Upon close inspection, one will find various shaped tiles that have been created by our community.

The panels are the focal point to a concrete pad and benches the City of Polson is installing which will be dedicated to the memory of Officer William Cleveland who died of cancer on November 15, 2015. His badge will be replicated and embedded in the mural, thus connecting the two projects.

Please join Cameron, et al., in the unveiling of this beautiful addition to the Polson landscape on Sunday, September 24th at 1:00 p.m. at Riverside Park in Polson.


The Mission Valley Ice Arena Association (MVIAA) is pleased to announce that they were awarded a Greater Polson Community Foundation grant toward its annual “WinterFest” event toward the construction of a seasonal ice rink.
“We are so grateful for the Foundation’s ongoing support and enthusiasm for our progress,” said Hilary Lozar, MVIAA chairperson. “They support our goals of providing healthy wintertime activity, and our commitment to boosting Polson’s economic activity during our slowest time of year,” she added.
The popularity of ice sports is increasing, and the nearest available rinks are Missoula, Kalispell or Whitefish. MVIAA envisions an indoor rink at the Ridgewater Complex adequate for hockey, tournaments, open skating and curling. Developer Mike Maddy has pledged the property once construction funds are assured.
February’s WinterFest is an opportunity for the public to experience a variety of winter sports. The event is free and attracts all ages of participants, raising awareness of the benefits of winter sports and the need for a local facility with safe, reliable ice.
Participants of all ages choose from a variety of activities, like practicing their hockey shot. Broom ball is “entry level” hockey and has been the most popular. “The kids played all day, and my son Carson really loved it,” said local businessman David McDaniel. MVIAA provides all equipment at no charge. Apparel and concessions are available, and local merchants have been generous donating raffle prizes. “We look forward to next February, with plans to improve the event,” Lozar said.

Mission Valley Ice Arena Association was formed to construct a seasonal ice rink in Polson and obtained charitable 501(c) 3 status in 2013. All donations are tax-deductible. Mailing address is P.O. Box 333, Polson, MT 59860.