Boys and Girls club welcomes new director, looks to expand

by CHRIS PETERSON
Editor | January 13, 2021 1:00 AM

The Boys and Girls Club of Glacier Country hopes to restart its program in Evergreen and purchase a piece of property to build a new center in Columbia Falls in this year.

Those are two of the tops goals of the club’s new director, Mandy Anderson.

Anderson is a familiar face at the club — she’s been the director of development since 2018 and has been interim director since late summer.

Former director Cindy Hooker left in August, moving back to Florida to be closer to family.

Anderson went through the interview process before being named to the post recently by the Club’s seven-member board.

Anderson, in an interview last week, said one of her top goals is to “bring the club back into Evergreen.”

The club had a presence in Evergreen for years, but due to financial hardships, it had to sell the roller rink it owned there to shed some debt a few years ago.

Now Anderson said the hope is to have a program up and running by the fall of this year, working with the Heritage Academy for space.

The Academy is close to the elementary school, the age group the club would like to serve first.

In addition to Evergreen, Anderson said the club is hoping to make an offer on a piece of property for a new center in Columbia Falls in the next month or so. The club initially looked at some land next to Ruder Elementary, but that didn’t come to fruition.

The club was able to leverage Cares Act funding through the state to do more marketing. It also recently purchased three new 15-person passenger vans to replace its aging fleet.

Locally the club serves about 55 youths, with programs at the elementary, junior high and high school levels. It has a waiting list at the elementary level, Anderson noted, because the club’s space is full and School District 6, which used to allow the club the use of the old junior high gym, has stopped because of coronavirus concerns.

The club currently runs its elementary programs out of the old Episcopal Church on Fourth Avenue West. After school, it is brimming with children.

The club currently has 11 staff, five of which are full time.

Anderson holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wyoming.

She grew up in Casper.

Anderson and her husband, Chris, have two children, Adeline, 3 months and Savannah, 3. Chris is a millwright at Weyerhaeuser.