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Rotary thanks Backslope

| May 3, 2023 2:00 AM

A big thank you to Backslope Brewing owners Carla and Darin Fisher and their hard-working staff for their generosity, sponsoring the Columbia Falls Rotary Club as their non-profit beneficiary Tuesday, April 25. The Fishers’ program to donate a portion of sales receipts to local non-profits on most Tuesdays during the Fall, Winter, and early Spring is a generous way of focusing their charitable giving to the community.

As a result, our club is able to give back to the community, too, supporting annual and emergency funding requests and projects. One such request came to us the day after the Backslope event. Three members of the Columbia Falls High School Speech and Debate Team asked the club to help with their trip to the National Championship this June in Phoenix. After hearing their persuasive presentation, no doubt polished by their experience in speech and debate, the Rotary members voted to donate the revenue from the Backslope event along with proceeds from a raffle the club held during the day. In addition, individual Rotarians pledged to make contributions. Once the club and member gifts are collected, somewhere between $1,200 and $1,500 will be donated from the club to help fund travel, food and lodging for eight high-school students and three coaches.

The eight team members compose the largest CFHS contingent ever winning the opportunity to compete nationally, which typically turns out as many as 16,000 high schoolers from around the country. The Columbia Falls students are trying to raise $15,000, and as of their request to our club Wednesday, have received $4,500 ­— not including what we will donate. Other individuals and businesses have made generous contributions, including $1,200 from the Columbia Falls Lion’s Club.

The students said attending tournaments is an eye-opening experience as they meet and compete with kids from throughout the country, offering a cultural exchange and personal growth in addition to the educational opportunity. They take what they learn from speech and debate into further education and ultimately their careers.

The team has a go-fund-me page:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/bring-wildcat-speech-and-debate-to-nationals.

Roger Hopkins, President, Rotary Club of Columbia Falls

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