Whitefish Community Foundation held its annual Community Grant Awards Celebration on May 2 and presented $520,300 in grants and special awards to 68 nonprofit organizations representing projects and programs in Bigfork, Browning, Columbia Falls, Eureka, Evergreen, Kalispell, Libby and Whitefish.

In addition to $385,800 in Community Grants, $14,500 in special awards, the Foundation presented $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 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
North West 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 Foundation, $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

The Foundation presented the following special awards and accompanying grants:

Whitefish Winter Carnival received the Russ and Mary Jane Street Community Service Award and an accompanying $2,500 grant for providing over 60 years of festivities during the month of February.

Foy’s to Blacktail Trails received the Doris Schumm Community Spirit Award and an accompanying $2,500 grant for the organization’s work to conserve local lands and 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. A $2,500 grant accompanied the award, which Collins directed to FAST Blackfeet, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving food security, providing nutrition education, and reclaiming and 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. The following people were inducted into the Twenty-Year Club for their long-term commitment to helping ensure the health and sustainability of a nonprofit organization:

Julie Balch, North Valley Search and Rescue
Tina Bertram, North Valley Music School
Pat Carter, Whitefish Community Center
Clay Colby, DREAM Adaptive Recreation
James Dion, Flathead County Search and Rescue
Ardelle Fauske, Whitefish Community Center
Rick Kinonen, Whitefish Community Center
Carrie Nelson, Conrad Mansion Museum
Daria Perez, Whitefish Community Foundation
Lois Schwegel, Whitefish Community Center
Bob Zahler, DREAM Adaptive Recreation

Whitefish Community Foundation’s grant programs are supported by the Circle of Giving, a core group of donors who see the value in pooling their resources together for greater impact. Circle members make an annual donation of $5,000 or more to the foundation.

“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,” says Alan Davis President & CEO of 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.”