Greetings from Bozeman! Summer has finally arrived in Southwest Montana. YDCCF has been busy the first half of this year, so I wanted to fill you in on all we've been up to!
In April, the YDCCF Board met and approved over $91,000 in new grants across nine projects from Montana to Mongolia and many places in between.
. The Xcalak English Project is one of our recent grantees. ESL teachers and students from the Gallatin Valley traveled to Xcalak, Mexico, last week to deliver a broad-based curriculum of English instruction for the service community. Area lodges sent guides, staff, and children to participate, and they will receive ongoing instruction in the coming months to further hone their skills. This will help the businesses that depend on tourists enhance and improve their communication and service, resulting in increased business and bookings. Thanks to our partners at XFlats for hosting the inaugural Xcalak English Project!
. Throughout the spring and early summer, our partners in Punta Allen have been busy at work constructing a new playground for the community. The palapas (photo above, courtesy of donor Bill Huffman) are almost complete, and we will be working on upgrading the fenced enclosure and upgrading the playground equipment next. This work depends on your generosity as donors, and to date, we've received over $40,000 in funding. If you'd like to add to this, please head over to our Donate Now page and indicate your donation is for the Punta Allen Playground project. We are also in the final stages of the Teacher's Dorm project and will be looking forward to its opening early this fall.
In May, YDCCF participated in the annual Give Big Gallatin Valley day of fundraising, where we raised over $10,000 that will be used exclusively on projects here in Southwest Montana. Stay tuned for updates as we help put that money to good use in our backyard.
Finally, as many of you know, the Yellowstone River experienced the highest crest in recorded history in the Paradise Valley on June 13th, causing historic flooding affecting Livingston, Emigrant, Gardiner, and in Yellowstone National Park. The communities of Red Lodge and Cooke City were also impacted by flooding. Here at YDCCF, we've been attending meetings in the area, learning more about the impacts, and formulating a response plan. There is no question the impacts on the tourist communities that depend on summer traffic will be steep. The river corridor itself will need restoration and repairs, and we will be working with our partner organizations in the region to help wherever there is a need. You can read more here from our partners at AFFTA's Fisheries Fund, including opportunities to donate to relief efforts.
I appreciate each and every one of you who takes the time to read this, and to all of our generous donors: thank you - without your support, we don't exist. I wish you all a safe, happy, and fun summer and hope you get to spend some time on your favorite water!