Libby Local and Livability, Opportunity,
Responsibility Foundation Give Back to Libby

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“One of the first projects in Taos was simply facilitating getting firewood from those who had an abundance of it to the folks at the senior center who needed.” Viergutz explained.

Here in Libby, she has hit the ground running, already completing two grants since starting in May, one of which is a major playground facelift of the “fish” playground and basketball court at the central school building. Libby school superintendent Ron Goodman approached LOR for funds to revamp the playground and fix the basketball hoop that has lately not been standing upright. LOR wrote a grant for $10,000 to create a brand-new basketball court and add safety padding to the popular playground.

Some other pending projects include installing Wi-Fi out at Libby Dam and a possible walking trail kiosk in conjunction with the Friends of Scotchman Peaks.

LOR also enlists the help of a “photo ambassador” from each community, a position that rotates every few months in order to include many different perspectives. The current ambassador is Jorden LeCount, an amazing local photographer.

Viergutz said, “We will be looking for a new one in a few months, and everyone should feel free to apply.”

Viergutz emphasized that Wyss and Jaramillo noticed that a lot of grant money tended to go to professional fundraisers and very large projects and not enough directly to locally generated, hands-on projects.

“We like to think of our funding as not a drop in the bucket, but as a piece of the pie” Viergutz told The Montanian. “We like to sustain the entire project, or fully fund a piece of it, like benches on a trail, or equipment for a public pool.”

When viergutz was first approached for the position, she was skeptical, but when she saw what LOR had accomplished in her hometown of Lander Wyoming, it made all the difference.

‘Small’ things that have a big impact, like bike racks and nurse-appreciation signs during the worst days of covid.

Viergutz says she didn’t mind the long interview process because, she says “I got to talk about how great my town is for 5 months.”

When LOR chooses a community, they “put all their eggs in one basket.” Viegutz added.

This means that all projects will be Libby-centric, but that doesn’t mean anyone from outside of Libby can’t apply. She also reminded us that LOR does not stay in one community forever, their tenure is typically 3-5 years, and then they will concentrate their assistance on another town.

This means that LOR does not fund on-going operating costs.

“We don’t want to leave a deficit when we leave town” Viegutz explained.

Viergutz is very happy to have this opportunity to continue to give back to libby, a place, she says has nurtured and supported her and her family since they moved here from Wyoming years ago.

She holds office hours in room 203 at Flathead college, and, she says, if you have an idea to run by her, just give her a call at 406 250-5218.

By Moira Blazi, The Montanian.

This Years Lincoln County

Community Foundation Grant Cycle

Money is available for 501 c 3 non-profits in south Lincoln County.  Lincoln County Community Foundation has been granting awards to non-profits in Lincoln County for the past 22 years. The foundation has awarded over $250,000 in that time…an amount larger than what is in the fund!!!!  It has funded non-profits, which often times have few volunteers and many needs with their mission.  To help those volunteers, often overworked, continue their tireless efforts on behalf of these organizations, LCCF offers grants.

The grant applications for the 2022 grant cycle will be accepted from August 1, to August 31. To obtain an application, go to mtcf.org, the Montana Community Foundation website.  In the menu section is a heading for local foundations.  You will be taken to a map to click on to go to the Lincoln County Community Foundation webpage.  The application can be downloaded there.  The hard copy application must be mailed and postmarked no later than August 31, to LCCF at PO Box 490, Libby, MT.

The 2021 grants in the amount of $10,600 were awarded to the following non-profits:  City of Troy, U-SERVE Libby, Heritage Museum, Troy chamber of Commerce, Troy Museum, Troy Farmers Market, Troy Public Schools, Kootenai Pets for Life, Lincoln County Library Foundation, and Troy Public Schools Track Project.

In 2021, LCCF was given oversight of the Robert Pederson Endowment.  The $1.3 million dollar fund will be used to fund additional 501 c 3 non-profit projects into the future.  The first proceeds were given to the Heritage Museum for their Roof.  They received a $10,000 grant from the Robert Pederson Endowment.  This is exactly what Robert Pederson had in mind when he established his fund…to fund ongoing community needs in Libby.

LCCF is always taking donations to its endowment.  Endowed giving through LCCF is a permanent way to have your gift help your community.  If you would like to give to help your community be a better place to live consider a gift of some kind to LCCF.  Contact the foundation with questions.  They may be directed to Paula Darko-Hensler, Chair at pdhensler@gmail.com.


Submitted by Paula Darko Hensler