Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Change Your Pace Challenge raises more than $65,000


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

On July 8, the Seeley Lake Community Foundation presented 15 different organizations with the funds totaling more than $65,000. The funds were raised during the month of June during the Change Your Pace Challenge.

SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Community Foundation presented more than $65,500 to the Change Your Pace Challenge's 15 participating organizations at an intimate ceremony July 8. The check presentation is usually done at the Seeley Lake Community Foundation's annual banquet in August, which was canceled this year due to coronavirus.

The Change Your Pace (CYP) Challenge is a campaign for community-wide giving that was started five years ago by the Foundation. During the month-long fundraising period, the Challenge motivates community members to give to their favorite participating local nonprofits and community groups. All funds raised during the month of June are matched.

This year 177 households donated. That is more than the last four years with 414 donations made to the different organizations.

"It is a really generous community even in this challenging time," said Muller. "While the overall total that came in this year wasn't as high as last year, I think that it is really important that we are a community and there are a lot of people that support the work you are doing, they think you are doing an amazing job, you all work so hard for these organizations."

The match fund grew to more than $14,000 this year. Energy Partners was a headlining sponsor for the second year in a row.

"Your contribution to the match fund makes this whole thing work by giving an incentive for people to give to their favorite nonprofits," said Claire Muller, the Seeley Lake Community Foundation executive director.

The 15 organizations raised:

• Alpine Artisans, $8,595.15: These funds will support their programs since their fundraisers and outreach events with 2 Valleys Stage have been canceled.

• Big Blackfoot Chapter Trout Unlimited, $1,116.50: These funds will be used for restoration work on Boles Creek, which drains into Placid Lake.

• Blackfoot Challenge, $2,106.31: These funds will be used for to continue to work towards common ground through innovative solutions and programs in the Blackfoot.

• Clearwater Resource Council, $937.03: These funds will be used for installing signage at Big Larch Campground, offering outreach opportunities for youth and supporting their aquatic monitoring programs.

• Missoula Aging Services, $2,426.02: These funds will be used to support the valleys' meal programs and local support positions including Seeley Swan Resource Specialist Linda Howard and In-Home Support Services provided by Heatherann Wayne.

• Seeley Lake Community Foundation, $4,437.09: These funds will help gathering rural resources for the area and support funding options for the community.

Seeley Lake Elementary Community Park, $959.80: This funding supported bathrooms at the playground and tennis courts this summer and will be used for continued park maintenance.

• Seeley Lake Historical Museum, $7,300.18: This will be used for facility upgrades on the barn.

• Seeley Lake ROCKS, $6,310.10: These funds will be used for match funding for grants to support the next phase of the Hill 16 trail project near Placid Lake.

• Seeley Lake Senior Center, $4,959.61: These funds will be used to install a handicap door for the entrance of the building as well as other programs at the Center.

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Each of the organizations present gave a little update on their projects. Pictured Alpine Artisans Treasurer Gene Schade discusses the challenges AAI has faced through COVID and the hurdles ahead as they look towards the 2020-2021 2 Valleys Stage Season.

• Sparrow's Vine Pregnancy Resource Center, $6,543.29: This will support the executive director and part-time client service director as well as find more ways to reach families and provide education and support to them in addition to the pregnancy resources.

• SSHS Destinations for Education $810.84: Funds will be used to support high school students studying abroad in Costa Rica.

Swan Valley Connections, $8,369.17: These funds will help SVC continue to offer educational opportunities that connect people to the outdoors and the Swan Valley.

• Upper Swan Valley Historical Society, $6,837.11: Funds will be used to support the Swan Valley Museum, upkeep on the six outbuildings as well as the many other USVHS projects.

• Veterans and Families of Seeley Lake, $4,035.07: The funds will be used to build the new kiosk for the memorial plaques at the Veterans Memorial Park north of town.


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