Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Guest column: Many hands built this gem of a club

by By Aric Cooksley
| March 4, 2021 12:25 AM

The Boys & Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation – Polson clubhouse has been up and running for over four months, and the possibilities it offers just keep growing. The number of kids served has doubled to almost 90 a day, with minds being nourished, tummies being filled and bodies being exercised. This community has a beautiful building and fantastic programming because of the people who call this place home.

There is an unsung group of people who made possible a positive facility that tells kids they are valuable. State of the art and energy efficient, great lengths were taken to create something beautiful and long lasting. If you have been in or around the club you may have seen the landscaping, fencing and a raised-bed garden area that make the outdoor space welcoming and a spot kids love to be. Soon, a playground and greenhouse will provide additional opportunities for club members. All of those areas depended on volunteers and in-kind giving of materials, equipment and labor to make them possible. Thanks to the efforts of a few “local guys,” the club received help from Jon Schultz Construction, Montana Rock Products, Flathead Valley Sod, Dupuis Lumber, Delaney’s and DR Irrigation & Landscape to complete a beautifully landscaped space. This winter the team from Chris Lynch Fencing, with materials from Mild Fencing in Kalispell, made sure the kids were safe and secure with a 6-foot fence around all outdoor program areas.

When entering the building, guests are greeted at a gorgeous reception desk fabricated and installed by local volunteers. The desk and rear counter are topped by beautiful slabs of granite provided and installed by Polson Stone and Tile. It is truly world class.

A club geared up for kids also requires a variety of furnishings, most of which need assembly. Building cafeteria tables, chairs, tables, cabinets, kitchen equipment, and installing audio visual equipment were made easier by community members that made this big job manageable.

We want to thank all of the individuals that gave of their time to help make this a special place for kids. Members of the Polson High School football team, the entire volleyball team and students from Mission Valley Christian Academy came to pitch in, as well as the Polson Police Department and the crew from First Interstate Bank. This community loves its kids, and it shows.

With a project supported by so many, it is easy to see why the community and especially its kids are excited for this amazing place. The old saying really is true here in Polson: “Many hands do make light work.”

For more information on the club visit flatheadbgc.org, or Aric Cooksley can be reached at aric@flatheadbgc.org.

Aric Cooksley is executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation – Polson.