Sunday, March 18, 2018

 Forrest Mandeville presents a check for $563 from the Columbus Community Foundation to Jill Exner, Jodi Maxted, Lorrie Koski and Amy Sjostrom on behalf of the Stillwater Legacy Trails.

Five groups receive CC Foundation grants

Columbus is a caring community that stood out in an unusual way during the May 3 nationwide Give Local America campaign.
According to Melissa Kramer, president of the Columbus Community Foundation, the server for the Montana portion of the campaign crashed during the 24-hour fundraising period, so donors in Columbus provided checks in person at a Give Local Lounge hosted by all participating nonprofits at the Stillwater Youth Center.
By midnight, a total of $75,000 was raised statewide, and a third of it – $25,000 – was raised in Columbus alone for 10 designated local groups, Kramer said.
Kramer told this story during the Foundation’s annual grant awards presentation at the Stillwater Billings Clinic on Oct. 10 – which just happened to be Columbus Day.
“Donors here are amazing,” she said.
Established in 2008, the Columbus Community Foundation receives donations and volunteer help but typically doesn’t hold an annual fundraiser so as not to compete with other local nonprofits and charitable organizations.
Donated money goes into an endowment fund that grows each year. Interest from the fund is used to provide grants to local groups, but first 5 percent from the interest goes to a fund that itself grows each year for emergency needs, Kramer said.
The Foundation became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization last October so it can sponsor smaller groups that don’t have nonprofit status and meet the Foundation’s mission of community development in Columbus.
Five groups received grants this year:
•Project Hope received $1,500 for carpeting at their thrift store on Pike Avenue. The group recently installed a new furnace and painted the store.
•The Stillwater Valley Watershed Council received $2,500 for their continuing weed control projects for small landowners in the valley.
•Stillwater Legacy Trails received $563 to use for their Haunted House fundraiser upstairs at the New Atlas Bar this year. The group supports development of a citywide trails system in Columbus, like the recently completed Pike Avenue bike and pedestrian path from Quarry Road to Mountain View Cemetery.
•The Stillwater Billings Clinic received $1,501 for a program to educate school children about prescription drug abuse, starting in Columbus and expanding later to the rest of the county.
•The Stillwater Youth Center received $2,000 to help pay for a kitchenette and a new yard at the center on East Pike Avenue.