Brunch with Santa canceled; determination on Night of Lights expected next week

by CHRIS PETERSON
Editor | November 12, 2020 12:05 AM

The Columbia Falls Rotary Club announced Thursday that it would cancel the annual Brunch with Santa due to coronavirus concerns.

The cancellation is unfortunate, club leaders said, because it’s the top fundraiser for the organization, which donates all of the money it raises back to community organizations and projects.

The club usually holds the event in Timber Creek Village assisted living center, which is closed to public use.

The club made the decision based on the impacts the virus is having in the community and risks posed to children, parents and volunteers, not to mention, Santa.

“We regret the cancellation,” club president Max Faller said. “We know it’s in the best interest of the community. Unfortunately. The cancellations will also have a substantial impact on the club’s ability to fund public service projects in 2021.”

President Max Faller said folks can still support the Rotary by going to the club’s website at columbiafallsrotary.com or the club’s Facebook page at facebook/CfallsRotary.
The club has done a world of good over the years, including donating $15,000 in money and in-kind donations to the Boys and Girls Club. It also supports CASA for kids, Flathead CARE, Braveheat Ministries and Columbia Falls after school sports.

Those organizations have received $6,000 in the past 12 years. In addition, it’s given $500 to local Boy Scout troop 1941 in the past few years as well. It also sends local youths to Rotary leadership camps.

The club in the past few years has also been the sponsor of the annual Night of Lights parade, and this year it was going to work with the Columbia Falls Chamber of Commerce on the annual event.

The groups were going to consult with the Flathead City County Health Department on the parade and whether or not it should be held. A decision would likely come sometime next week, Faller said.

The club hopes to bring Santa back next year. There have been encouraging signs of a vaccine development, which could be rolled out in the next few months, according to national reports.

There has been a bit of good news for the Rotary.

The Rotary International Foundation announced it was providing $25,000 to Montana districts for local disaster relief, such as helping folks with food and housing insecurity, local economic development and other local health concerns.

Each club can apply for grants up to $1,500.