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$1.7M donation for Special Olympics Montana

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Posted at 12:13 PM, Jun 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-06 14:13:55-04

GREAT FALLS — First Interstate Bank and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation have partnered to donate $1.75 million dollars to the Special Olympics Montana “Reveal the Champion in All of Us” Endowment Campaign.

Since 2016, the campaign has raised $9.75 million with the most recent gift bringing the endowment within $250,000 of its $10-million-dollar goal.

“First Interstate Bank and the Washington Foundation have been long time premier partners with the organization for decades,” said Endowment Campaign executive director Bob Norbie. “They've helped us grow up and they've grown with us. We now serve over 3,500 athletes annually, and there are so many more that could be served if we had the capacity. And this endowment will ensure capacity into the future.”

The money raised will help Special Olympics Montana weather potential storms that would endanger their mission of providing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, including unpredictable events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For an organization that engages in high touch with athletes through sports, to go into social isolation in lockdown is just a travesty in the life of the athletes we serve,” Norbie said. “But good people with abundance and resource have stepped up and said, ‘We're going to make this work. We're going to secure your future in perpetuity’.”

Of the 330 donors to the endowment campaign, five have contributed gifts over $1 million - led by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation at $1.75 million.

“And so, between the endowment, our annual fundraising, along with some of our small reserves we'll diversify our revenue streams to ensure that when these unpredictable occurrences happen, we're in a position to still carry on and serve the athletes across this great state,” Norbie said.

Kevin Washington of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation earmarked $250,000 of the donation as a “challenge grant” to help SOMT reach its final goal of $10 million by the end of the campaign on June 30th.

Those interested in donating can have their gift matched up to $250,000.

If you would like to help Special Olympics Montana achieve its $10 million goal, please contact Bob Norbie, Campaign Executive Director, at 406-899-2323 or bnorbie@somt.org. For more information about Special Olympics Montana visit www.somt.org.