PABLO — The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes presented the Flathead Reservation-Lake County Boys and Girls Club with a $200,000 donation for its new Polson facility. Tribal Council Chairman Ronald Trahan handed over the check at Thursday’s council meeting. In exchange several youngsters from Polson presented Trahan with a huge “Thank You” card they made.
“The tribal donation is a huge help and it is a confirmation on how important the Tribes are to the reservation and county community in providing the youth with a safe place to recreate, have fun and learning,” said Flathezad Reservation-Lake County Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Aric Cooksley.
The CSKT made a similar donation for the new Ronan facility. Prior to that the Tribes leased the Boys and Girls Club the building and land in Ronan for a dollar a year.
“At the end of the day it will make such a positive impact on the community at large,” Cooksley said of the new facility. “A rising tide like this will raise all boats. We will be feeling the positive impact of this for years to come.”
Cooksley said that is what happened with the new expansive Ronan Boys and Girls Club center. The new Ronan center resulted in serving more of the local youngsters.
“We had tremendous growth in attendance in Ronan and it continues to grow,” Cooksley said. “It is really fantastic to see that something like a new facility would allow us to serve so many kids. It’s exciting, terrifying and humbling all at the same time because with accomplishments like this carries great responsibilities.”
The daily attendance rose from an average of 60 youngsters per day in the old facility to 100 a day this May. The attendance rose with the school vacation to 125 a day this summer.
Cooksley said the Boys and Girls Club goal is to raise tides in every Flathead Reservation community with club facilities and programs to serve young folks in those communities. “We will continue to work to fulfill that challenge,” he said.
The Polson Boys and Girls Club fund drive has raised $4.5 million of its goal of $4.8 million for its new 19,600 square feet Boys and Girls Club center.
The Polson Boys and Girls Club new building will be located at 2nd Street West and 17th Avenue West near the Polson Middle School.