More than 15 years after the establishment of Jim Sleeter Fund, the legacy of the late Havre businessman and community advocate is still giving back.
The Montana State University-Northern Foundation, which manages the fund, announced this week the recipients of this year’s awards, designated by Sleeter before he died to encourage activities, the arts and community enhancement and involvement.
Through the Lions Club, the Sleeter fund will contribute $2,670 toward new curling stones for the Havre Ice Dome, and $3,450 to place informational markers along the proposed Rotary Trail at Beaver Creek Park.
The fund will also continue its multi-year $1,000 contribution to the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, on whose board Sleeter served, for their Sounds on the Square summer music program.
As if those weren’t enough, the fund is also pitching in $2,009.87 toward St. Jude Thaddeus School’s new playground equipment, which is a part of their modifications after removing the old rectory building.
The fund was established in 1996 and has, since 2001, added more than $111,000 to community projects.
These funds went toward projects from the Havre skate park to the bandstand downtown, and helped programs such as the Montana Actors Theater and Head Start.
After moving to Havre in 1935, Sleeter graduated from Havre High School in 1946 before attending and graduating from Northern Montana College, now Montana State University-Northern.
He was the head of Havre Laundry and Dry Cleaning from 1955 to 1976, then entered the construction business, renovating the old and constructing the new.
Sleeter, a member and leader of innumerable organizations including Jaycees, Kiwanis, Masons, Elks and more, said when starting the fund that he wanted to give back to the community that offered him so many opportunities and extend those opportunities to the young people of today.