It’s not unusual for residents here to call Whitefish home for one reason — the people.
Whitefish is a community that comes together. Volunteers pitch in with their hands and with their wallet to ensure the next project gets completed, and youngsters in the community are doing some amazing things.
Here’s look back at a few highlights for at some of the good things that happened in Whitefish in 2017.
In January came the story of Mario Benedict and Jerry Kutzman, who when the weather turns cold each year help a domestic swan make her way home. The swan walks a mile and a half down Hodgson Road form her permanent pond at Triple B Ranch to bask in the Mallard Loop pond, but when winter arrives she doesn’t leave and gets a car ride back to her home.
Whitefish High School students organized “Paws with a Cause” a fundraiser and awareness campaign to raise awareness about pet adoption. Whitefish Middle School students also showed their giving spirit when they raised $3,600 in donations this fall for the North Valley Food Bank.
A number of donations were made for great causes in the community this year.
A few of the highlights include the Whitefish Community Foundation’s award of a Major Community Project Grant of $38,500 in April to the Whitefish Lake Institute to help implement a comprehensive aquatic invasive species prevention program, and the foundation’s community grant cycle resulted in more than $122,000 given to nonprofits during an event in May. Then in October the Great Fish Challenge raised more than $2 million for nonprofits and Whitefish Animal Group received the annual Great Fish award and a $5,000 grant.
In December, Project Whitefish Kids had raised $82,000 toward its goal of raising $292,000 to fund a new playground at Smith Fields.
Donations over several years launched the construction this year of the Whitefish School District’s Center for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship. The $2.65 million center is expected to be completed in April.
Five Whitefish first responders were honored for their response during a boating accident on Whitefish Lake this summer. Officials said their efforts were imperative in saving the life of a man who suffered life-threatening injuries when his feet got stuck in the propeller of a boat. A group of firefighters also headed to California in December to work on a major wildfire burning there.