Kids at risk, rural health care, arts and education are among the Hi-Line needs that have been funded by recent grants from the Montana Community Foundation under a grant program called Building Rural Communities. Funding for the grants comes from MCF and the Steele-Reese Foundation, which works through MCF to improve conditions in rural communities.
Area recipients of the 2006 grants are: 17th Judicial District CASA, $3,000, for family advocacy and education to strengthen family skills in Blaine, Phillips and Valley counties; the Northern Rockies Rural Health Clinic in Cut Bank, $1,000, to help finance a new copy machine; Planned Parenthood of Montana, $3,000, to provide sex education training to teachers and other professionals in four rural communities, including Browning and Poplar; the Blaine County Wildlife Museum Foundation, $3,500, to leverage additional funds for completion of educational exhibits in a new museum; the Two Rivers Children's Museum of Northeast Montana, $3,020, to help create a space exploration exhibit in the Glasgow museum, and the Montana Art Gallery Directors Association, $3,500, to help fund several traveling exhibits, including two scheduled for the Liberty Village Arts Center & Gallery in Chester.
MCF awarded a total of $93,949 to 41 nonprofit organizations throughout Montana in this year's Building Rural Communities granting program. “Community vitality is an important part of our mission,” said Linda Reed, executive director of the Helena-based Montana Community Foundation. “With the help of Steele-Reese, we are able to put our mission to work in rural communities with populations of fewer than 5,000.”
MCF is Montana's only statewide philanthropic organization. Founded in 1988, the Foundation manages more than 550 charitable endowment funds with total assets of more than $50 million. MCF distributes more than $2 million a year in grants to charitable organizations and educational scholarships.