Roundup for Safety Supports Nate Chute Foundation, Schools Partnership For Gun Safety

Submitted by

Courtney Stone


The Roundup for Safety Board awarded $17,321 in community safety grants to nonprofit organizations at its November 10 meeting, including a $3,000 grant requested by the Nate Chute Foundation (NCF) for gun safety locks. The locks will be given to local school superintendents, administrators, psychologists, and counselors to distribute to all parents and caregivers who have a firearm that is accessible to youth.

Executive Director Kacy Howard presented on behalf of NCF, which is dedicated to reducing suicide in western Montana. NCF offers evidence-based training and education to area schools and organizations to help identify suicidal behavior and build resiliency. With this grant request, NCF sought to expand an existing partnership with the Flathead County FICMMR (Fetal, Infant, Maternal Mortality Review) team (operating under DPHHS Montana). Flathead County FICMMR dedicated $3,000 to provide gunlocks to School District 5 (Kalispell) and asked NCF to partner with them to provide gunlocks to Flathead Valley schools outside of District 5, including the Whitefish, Columbia Falls, and Bigfork districts.

Howard shared research suggesting that one of the most effective ways to prevent suicide is to put time and space between the suicidal individual and the lethal means they have chosen to end their life. While many people contemplating suicide may make plans and consider their thoughts for long lengths of time, the actual duration of deliberation (from deciding to make an attempt to actually attempting) is typically under 10 minutes. That means that if a person planning on ending their life cannot access their firearm immediately, they will likely come out of their suicidal crisis before they have a chance to attempt. Howard also shared Flathead County rates of youth suicide is over twice the national average. Last year, nine local young people died by suicide.

The Board noted the partnership between the Nate Chute Foundation, the Flathead Country FICMMR, and the Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, and Bigfork school districts. Nate Chute Foundation is also working with locally based Nelson’s Hardware of Whitefish and Top Copy for affordable rates on the locks and the printed, educational materials that accompany them.

Other projects funded during the November meeting included:

Cabinet Mountain Elite Wrestling – safety mats and wall padding – $4,000

David Thompson Search & Rescue – avalanche beacons — $3,889

Immanuel Lutheran Communities – three AEDs and cabinets — $4,800

Northwest Montana History Museum – panic bars — $1,632

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 a total of $4,572,122 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.

Troy City Council Meeting Continued from Page 1

The Troy Mountain to Town Recreation Plan was on the agenda for discussion again. After much discussion three of the four council members voted in favor of the recreation plan. “I would be comfortable approving it because it is not a binding agreement, just a suggesting document. It can be amended and evolve like a living document.” Said Council Woman Shawna Kelsey.


The Yaak Avenue Property was discussed, and the council was all in favor to purchase the property from a private landowner. The department reports from the city staff contained lots of holiday tasks. The power department had cut trees, replaced bulbs, hung Christmas lights, and worked on job quotes. The City of Troy Police completed trainings and prepped vehicles for winter and worked on grants to fund mobile radios. Shop with a Cop will be held on December 15, 2022 this year.

Public comments on matters not on the agenda included discussions around adding T-Ball fields down by Roosevelt Park and add parking, bathrooms, and possible expansion for improved baseball and softball tournament fields. An interest to form a committee and partnership with the City of Troy and Troy Schools is in the works. The Bonneville Power Rebate Program was discussed because it has not been listed on the City Council Agendas for discussion. “The council decided to create a policy by committee for the BP Rebate Program, it would be great if the council could come up with some examples.” Said Tracy Rebo the Troy City Clerk. “I would like to have a policy that is open to anyone that is on a first come basis, as we have talked about in previous meetings.” Said Council Member TJ Boswell. The City of Troy will choose committee members to create a policy about the amount of funds that can be allocated towards commercial, residential, and industrial rebates. “I would suggest Clay, Shera, and Crystal to be on the committee to make the policy. Shawna should not be on the committee because she is a conflict of interested as a business owner.” Said Tracy Rebo the Troy City Clerk. “I would like to put BP Rebate Program on the next agenda for public comment.” Said Council Member TJ Boswell. If any utility users in Troy would like to participate as a committee member, please contact the Troy Mayor Chuck Ekstedt, and attend the next Troy City Council Work Meeting held on December 5, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. All were in favor to adjourn the meeting after no other public comments were made.

By Ashley South, The Montanian