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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.

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 www.greaterpolsoncommunityfoundation.org 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.