KALISPELL, Montana – At a May 11 meeting, Flathead Electric Cooperative’s Roundup for Safety Board of Directors awarded $16,200 to two area nonprofits. The Board granted a Three Rivers EMS request for $8,700 to fund bullet/stabproof vests for staff. In addition, the Board awarded $7,500 towards Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center (FOFAC)’s efforts to improve the safety messaging functionalities of the Flathead Avalanche Center’s website.
Emily Struss, FOFAC Director of Operations, presented in support of the request. FOFAC supports the mission of the Flathead Avalanche Center to save lives, limbs, and property from avalanches through education and information. The Center provides daily avalanche safety forecasting for 1.2 million acres in Northwestern Montana, including the Whitefish and Swan Ranges, parts of Glacier National Park, and most of the Flathead National Forest.
The Center’s safety messaging largely occurs via its website. That website needs technical upgrades in order to support the functionalities of its safety forecasting. Last season, the Center’s website saw 32,000+ unique visitors, which represents about 30% of the Flathead valley’s population. To create a positive user experience and keep those in need of avalanche safety forecasting returning in the future, the Center’s website needs backend development to support mobile functionality and to interface with the National Avalanche Forecast Center’s forecasting support, too.
The total project cost is $17,229. The Roundup for Safety Board noted with approval FOFAC’s multi-faceted approach to funding, some of which was attained through its 2022 Great Fish Community Challenge campaign, some of which resulted from its partnership with the Forest Service, and some of which was self-funded through fundraising. To learn more about the Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center, please visit: https://flatheadavalanche.org/
The Roundup for Safety Board will consider June applications through May 31 and vote on them at its June meeting. If your nonprofit is interested in applying for community safety funds, visit www.flatheadelectric.com/roundup or call Courtney Stone at 406-751-1820.
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. Since 1997, members of Flathead Electric Cooperative have rounded up their bills to over $4.7M in community safety project funding. If your nonprofit is interested in applying for community safety funds, visit www.flatheadelectric.com/roundup or call Courtney Stone at 406-751-1820. Grant applications are accepted on Flathead Electric Co-op’s website and are due by the end of each month for consideration at the following month’s meeting.