Top Sory Box

February 2014


Steve McQueen in Montana
The Famous Actor and His Beautiful Wife Loved Livingston
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Jeanette Rankin and Belle Winestine
In honor of the Centennial of Women's Suffrage in Montana
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McQueen, the Back Story
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An Apache Outbreak,War on the Border
Chiricahua Apaches Defy and Fight U.S. and Mexican Soldiers
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Food Police a Real Possibility?
For Some, It’s an Idea Whose Time Has Come
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The Real Wolf Does Not Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Authors Say It Is Pro-Wolfers Who Propagate Myths

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Letters to the Editor
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Arthur Blank Is at It Again
Atlanta Falcons Owner, Home Depot Founder Awards $254K to Local Causes Through Foundations—$2 Million Total


The Mountain Sky Guest Ranch and the Paradise Valley Pop Stand Funds have approved more than $254,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations serving youth and families in Park and Gallatin counties.

The awards include a three-year $50,000 grant to Crazy Mountain Productions to transform the former East Side School building in downtown Livingston into a Community Center for the Arts. Crazy Mountain Productions is currently moving its operations from the Firehouse 5 Theatre to the East Side Arts Center, and will open the new facility with a production of Cats on October 22.

Other grants include a $25,000 award to the Greater Gallatin United Way to support the KidsLink after-school program that serves nearly 1,000 youth across Park and Gallatin counties, and a three-year $45,000 award to support the work of the Park County Community Foundation. The Park County Community Foundation works to increase philanthropy and support nonprofits in Park County.

“The local nonprofit community is doing a terrific job of stepping up to meet the increased demand for services,” said Tawnya Rupe, director of the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund. “Our associates at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch and the Paradise Valley Pop Stand are honored to be supporting these partner organizations.”

The Mountain Sky Guest Ranch and Paradise Valley Pop Stand Funds are affiliated funds of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. The Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund has contributed more than $2 million to local nonprofits since Arthur Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot, and owner of the Atlanta Falcons professional football franchise, acquired the ranch in 2001.

The Paradise Valley Pop Stand Fund began its charitable giving program in 2008 and supports youth sports and volunteerism. Drawing on nominations from the commun-ity, every month the Pop Stand recognizes a local Hero for outstanding volunteer work and makes a donation to the nonprofit of that individual’s choice.

Arthur Blank’s association with Southwest Montana began when Blank and his family began traveling to Montana for vacations at Paradise Valley’s Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in the 1990s, according to ranch spokesperson Tanya Rupe.
"Friends of theirs recommended the ranch," Rupe told the Pioneer last year. "After coming out for several years, they purchased the ranch in 2001." That year, Blank also retired as co-chairman of Home Depot (which he co-founded in 1978), and Rupe said that Blank and his family began to spend more time at the ranch.

"They're here for the majority of the summer," said Rupe. "And they do a lot for the community." Blank and his wife Stephanie are known for their charitable work. They created The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation in 1995, with a stated mission "focused on enhancing education, preserving greenspace, sustaining the arts and sparking collaboration among its community partners." Over $250 million has been granted to various charitable organizations through the Family Foundation. The Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund Community Grants Program, affiliated with the Family Foundation, was created as an arena for giving back to the Blank family's new community.  That program focuses on youth, environment and quality of life in Park and Gallatin Counties. Among  the foundation’s recent grantees are the Livingston Youth Soccer Association and City of Livingston’s Northside Park project.

Rupe said that Blank is very skilled regarding "sparking collabor-ation among community partners," and that goes for Southwest Montana as well.

"He's really got the ability to convince wealthier neighbors of the importance of giving back to the community," said Rupe. "Because of the Foundation there's more going on here now—I think he and his staff have added another realm to giving here."

Editor’s note: Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund 2010 grant awards include the following recipients: Big Sky Institute ($5,000 for Child Care Connections), Big Sky Youth Empowerment ($8,000 for at-risk kids), Bozeman Schools Foundation ($5,000 for the Spark Grant program), Children's Museum of Bozeman ($8,000 for  youth internship and scholarships for rural children), Community Mediation Center ($10,000 to assist divorced families with parenting), Gallatin Historical Society ($4,000 for free admission to children), Gallatin Valley Food Bank ($5,000 matching grant for the KidsPack program), Greater Gallatin United Way ($25,000 for after-school program serving kids across Park and Gallatin counties), LINKS and HOPA ($8,000 for youth mentorship in Livingston), Livingston Food Pantry) $8,000 for the Backpack Program’s healthy food to kids in Park County), Manaia Youth Program ($7,500 for at-risk kids), Montana Conservation Corps ($5,000 serving at-risk kids), Montana Nonprofit Assoc. ($20,000 matching grant to hire staff), Museum of the Rockies ($4,000 for free memberships to families with kids in Head Start), Park County Community Foundation ($45,000 for operating support), Philanthropy Northwest ($3,000 to support Montana and Wyoming Funders Networks), THRIVE ($6,000 for Girls for Change), Trout Unlimited ($5,000 for Fleshman Creek restoration and outdoor classroom project), Western Sustainability Exchange ($2,500 for youth entrepreneurs), Yellowstone Country Guardians ($6,000 for  youth conservation education).










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