Havre Daily News
Boys & Girls Club of the Bears Paw participants will soon be making their own animated movies thanks to new equipment. Computers, as well as air hockey machines, video games and new playground supplies have been arriving in a steady stream over the last month, club director Chris Jilot said.
At the beginning of the year, the Rocky Boy tribal council promised the club, which has a location in Box Elder and one at Rocky Boy Agency, $40,000 in new equipment. The money was to come from the tribe's general fund and be reimbursed by a 50-cent tobacco tax increase that took effect in January.
Between mid-March and the end of July the tax raised $33,700, Chippewa Cree community development officer Bob Swan said. The tax was collected on cigarettes sold at Gramma's Market and the Past Time smoke shop. As more money accumulates, it will be used to pay for cultural and community events, Swan said.
"They can come into the centers and into the gym area and they'll have supplies and materials and equipment," Jilot said.
The council had approached Jilot and club board members asking for a wish list. When Jilot's wish list became her shopping list, she was thrilled, she said.
What the club is getting far exceeds its normal budget for equipment, she said.
Temporarily, the arrival of new equipment and other updates to the two club locations has meant that children are playing and doing crafts projects outdoors.
A grand opening is planned for August, Jilot said.
All club activities are currently at the main site at old Stone Child College while windows at the Box Elder club are being replaced.