Roundup for Safety Board focuses on water safety at May meeting

The Roundup for Safety Board awarded a total of $8,607 in community safety grants to nonprofit organizations at its May 12 meeting, including two grants supporting water safety for local kids.

The Board considered a request from the Columbia Falls Swim Team for safety equipment. In introducing the grant application, Swim Team board member Jana Montiel noted that although there is a competition aspect to the Swim Team that keeps kids motivated, the entire focus of the program is to develop proficient swimmers. About 100 kids hailing from communities across the Flathead Valley are expected to participate in this summer’s program.

“We are surrounded by beautiful, fast, deep water in the Flathead valley, and it is the Team’s mission to help local kids learn to actually swim proficiently, not just dog paddle to the side of the pool. Research shows that kids who can swim 400 yards continuously have exponentially less chance of ever drowning,” Montiel told the Board. The Swim Team requested tools such as leg buoys and flippers to assist children in learning proper swim strokes. The Swim Team also included an AED in its request. The Roundup for Safety Board awarded $4,500.

The Board also granted a lifejacket funding application from the Good Grief Group (GGG). The Group supports grieving children in many ways throughout the year, including hosting Good Grief Camp each summer. The camp is staffed with professionals and trained volunteers to help grieving children find comfort, support, and the resources to move forward. The camp, now in its 9th year, is held on Middle Thompson Lake and is very water-centric, prompting the request for life jacket funding. The Board awarded $1,500.

Other projects funded during the May meeting included:

  • Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center – $1,359 – AED with pediatric pads
  • Flathead Area Mountain Bikers Association – $650 – helmets
  • Columbia Falls Community Market – $598 – traffic cones, signage

Roundup for Safety is a voluntary program for Flathead Electric Cooperative members who allow their electric bills to be rounded up to the next dollar, with the extra money going into a fund for community safety projects proposed by nonprofit organizations and considered by an independent board.

To date in 2022, the Roundup for Safety Board has distributed $126,828 in community safety project funding. Grants are considered each month. Applications are due May 31 and accepted on Flathead Electric Co-op’s website. The Roundup for Safety Board next meets on June 9. For additional information about the program, visit www.flatheadelectric.com/roundup or call Courtney Stone at 406-751-1820.