Meeting pandemic needs

CMF COVID-19 relief fund helping community organizations
Charlie Denison
Senior Reporter
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
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Central Montana Foundation Executive Director Carrie Mantooth works from the CMF office Tuesday morning, where she hopes to hear from organizations in need of assistance from the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Mantooth

The Central Montana Foundation Board of Directors understands this is a difficult time for many and they are trying to help organizations that could use some financial support. That’s why the CMF moved forward with the COVID-19 relief fund, which has already provided a significant amount for non-profits that could use the boost.
CMF Executive Director Carrie Mantooth said non-profit or tax-exempt businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for CMF’s COVID-19 Relief Fund grants.
In Lewistown, those include the Council on Aging, Central Montana Community Cupboard, and organizations like Clearinghouse Connections, which provides emergency assistance to individuals who haven’t been able to work during the crisis. These services have all received funding from CMF.
Other organizations that have also received grant money include the Garfield Community Food Bank, the Garfield County Senior Center, the Wheatland County Senior Citizens Center, the Judith Basin Food Pantry and the Petroleum County Senior Citizens Center.

As of press time, the COVID-19 relief fund has donated nearly $10,000 to Central Montana businesses, plus an additional $6,000 through the Horse Ranch Donor Advised Fund.
This is only the beginning of distribution, Mantooth said, as the COVID-19 relief has almost reached $35,000.
“Even organizations that have received grants are eligible to reapply,” she added. “We will keep granting funds until the fund is depleted.”
Mantooth said she’s amazed by the generosity she’s seen from businesses and individuals around Central Montana. There have been many donations recently, including a $20,000 grant from Wells Fargo.
“Jen Weeden, the Lewistown branch manager, is one of our board members, and she really helped with this process,” said Mantooth.
The donations keep on coming.
“We received an additional $5,000 grant from energy delivery company Enbridge,” said Mantooth. “Their funding is earmarked for assistance in counties where its pipeline crosses, including Fergus, Judith Basin and Wheatland.”
The CMF board also committed $5,000 to the pass-through account.
In addition, Mantooth said the CMF received two grants totaling $2,500 from Opportunity Bank to assist with food-relief efforts.
“Farmers State Bank of Denton is a branch of Opportunity Bank and branch manager Josh Webber is a member of the CMF board,” said Mantooth. “The gift is part of a broader relief effort to provide assistance near the communities they serve.”
Mantooth said this is proof “we are all in this together.”
“People are aware of what’s going on, have empathy and are doing something about it,” she said.
Having the opportunity to help those impacted by the pandemic is what the CMF is all about, and Mantooth said it’s been wonderful to hear from those all around the five-county area they serve (Fergus, Garfield, Judith Basin, Petroleum and Wheatland).
 “I have the best job around,” she said. “It’s so satisfying to deliver good news and to have so many stepping up. Spika Design and Manufacturing, for example, have contacted me and pledged to help with a very generous gift when it’s needed. It just goes to show Central Montana deserves the reputation we have for stepping up and being a generous community. This proves we are generous by nature.”
Other businesses, organizations and individuals who want to partner with CMF in providing relief to those most impacted by the pandemic can send donations to CMF at PO Box 334, Lewistown, MT 59457.
The CMF is open and continues to field phone calls and inquiries. For more information, call the office at 538-6130 or go to Applications are available on the website.




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