Rotary Club Of Townsend, MT

Rotary Club Of Townsend, MT   

Service Above Self
Philanthropy & Volunteerism | Townsend, Montana

Rotary funds projects … with money made at Fall Fest from sponsorships, food and beverage sales, and vendor and car show entry fees. Please help support Rotary by becoming a Rotary Project Sponsor. Contact Patrick Plantenberg, Rotary Project Sponsorship Chair at 406-431-4615.

Join Leaders. Exchange ideas. Take Action. Thank you.

Senior Center Upgrades

- Senior Center Covid-19 Upgrades 2020 -

The Rotary Club of Townsend and the local Amish Community in Broadwater County teamed up to upgrade the Broadwater Food Pantry in 2021. The Amish Community donated materials and replaced the peeling wood façade on the front of the building with new metal siding and installed a new entry door.

The $7,000+ project was completed with financial help from MT Rotary District 5390, the Rotary Club of Townsend, the Broadwater Community Foundation, the Broadwater County Development Corporation, and donations from Rotary members. Special thanks to all the Rotarians, their spouses, and Interact Club students who put in many hours completing the work. The Senior Center reopened in Spring of 2021 and the Seniors are enjoying the new chairs and other upgrades.

Broadwater Food Pantry Facelift

- Amish Community Members Transform Food Pantry Exterior Façade 2021 -

The Rotary Club of Townsend completed upgrades to the Broadwater County Senior Center in 2020 during the COVID-19 shutdown. The project included painting interior walls and trim, new entry mats, new white boards, and 40 new vinyl-covered more comfortable chairs to comply with new sanitary requirements for COVID-19.

Rotarians painted the inside of the building. Rotary replaced old fluorescent lights with new LED lighting; installation was donated by Chris Wright, Jr. Rotarians purchased a new sign for the front, new window blinds, and one new ceiling fan. Dana Construction donated labor to replace an old wooden back door with a new metal door, purchased by Rotary. In addition, Rotary replaced a 1976 three-door cooler with a new energy efficient three-door cooler. New flooring and installation were donated by Townsend Flooring and Cabinetry.

Other project sponsors included the Broadwater Community Foundation and NorthWestern Energy Company

Senior Citizen Holiday Dinner & Light Tour

- Rotarians Connect at Senior Citizen Holiday Dinner & Light Tour -

In mid-December, the Rotary Club of Townsend, and the Broadwater County Lions Club co-sponsor a Senior Citizen Holiday Dinner with all the trimmings at the Townsend Senior Center followed by a tour of the Holiday lights throughout town. Townsend School District #1 and Billings Clinic Broadwater donate the use of their buses for the tour.

Up to 80 people are served meals over the two-day event. Rotarians provide a bag of home-baked Holiday cookies for each Senior. For those shut-ins who cannot make the dinner, the Clubs purchase and give away poinsettias. Sadly, the dinner and light tour was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19. The dinner and light tour will be held on December 13 and 14, 2021. Because of continuing COVID-19 restrictions at the Senior Center, the dinner will be moved to another location.

Annual Broadwater High School

Speech and Drama Showcase

On February 4, 2020, the Rotary Club of Townsend hosted the 1st Annual Broadwater High School (BHS) Speech and Drama Showcase at The Lodge of Townsend. The BHS Speech and Drama students excelled in 2019 by taking the state championship! BHS Speech and Drama Students typically don’t perform in public. The Showcase was an opportunity for each student to perform in front of their fellow speech and drama teammates, parents, and others. About 125 people attended the event.

The event was sponsored by Rotary, Bulldog Booster Club, BHS, Broadwater County Lions Club, and Fun for Life Program. Rotary organized the event and the meal which was served by the Rotary-sponsored Interact Club members. Rotary hopes to continue this event each year after seeing how much the students enjoyed performing in public. The event had to be cancelled in February of 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns. The 2022 event is planned in February.

Please volunteer to help judge your school’s speech and drama tournaments. You will be surprised at the talent of these students.

Broadwater Community Connections

- Rotarians Connect at Senior Citizen Holiday Dinner & Light Tour -

Are you new to Broadwater County and trying to find where to go for the many varied community services you may need? Even many of our long-term residents do not know these community service groups exist and how they can help Broadwater County residents. Rotary recently helped coordinate the production of an updated directory of over 100 non-profits and other institutions serving Broadwater County residents.

The directory update was completed by Broadwater County Social Services Committee, Rotary Club of Townsend, Alliance Church, and Broadwater Community Foundation. The updated directory lists the many organizations and the services they provide. See the directory at: To provide updates to the document or for more information, please call Rotarian Patrick Plantenberg at 431-4615 or John Hahn from the Broadwater County Development Corporation at 202-1050.

Sponsor Boys/Girls State Student

- Students at Girls State in State Capitol 2021 -

Every year, Rotary Club of Townsend, Broadwater County Lions Club, and American Legion Post #42, and American Legion Auxiliary sponsor Broadwater High School students to attend Boys and Girls State Capitol.

American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State are summer leadership and citizenship programs for high school juniors. The program’s focus is on exploring the mechanics of American government and politics. Attendees are nominated by their high school during their junior year. Boys and Girls State programs both began in 1937 and are held in each of the U.S. states. Find out more at: or

Co-Sponsor Bike Safety Rodeo and Car Seat Safety Check

- Bike Safety Rodeo Kiddie Bike Wash -

On June 12th, 2021, Rotary Club of Townsend, Broadwater County Health Services, and Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office co-sponsored a Bike Safety Rodeo and Car Seat Safety Check in Townsend. Fifty-five children ages 5-12 and their parents attended the Bike Safety Rodeo.

Children were registered and received a gift packet. They also received a free, fitted bike helmet from Child Care Connections. Then bike tires, brakes, seats, and handlebars were safety-checked by Townsend Tire and other volunteers before the children could ride through courses to learn how to properly ride on city streets, including how to hand signal to stop and make right and left turns. Finally, the kids rode through an obstacle course which included a kiddie car wash. There were prizes and snacks for all who attended. Some bicycles were given away as door prizes.

On the other half of the parking lot, the Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office and another certified car seat safety technician checked car seats for safety. A limited number of new car seats were given away on a first-come-first-serve basis if car seats did not meet safety requirements.

Sponsor Students to Rotary Youth Leadership Award Camp

- Students at Rotary Youth Leadership Award Camp -

Each July, about 110 students from Montana high schools apply to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA) at Luccock Park on Pine Creek south of Livingston. Montana’s RYLA Camp has become known as one of the best in the region under the leadership of Rotarians and with leadership and team training programs from Karen Grosz of Canvas Creek Consulting from Billings.

In 2017, four exceptional students from Broadwater High School (BHS) were sponsored by the Rotary Club of Townsend to attend RYLA. These same students came back to form a Rotary-sponsored Interact Club in Townsend. In addition, two of the RYLA campers were invited back as junior counselors at the RYLA Camp in 2018.

In 2018, six students from BHS attended RYLA camp in addition to the two junior counselors. This was the most students from any one high school in Montana at RYLA Camp! One of the BHS students, Ty Steele, was invited back as a Junior Counselor for the 2019 RYLA Camp. Another student, Daniel Wyse was invited back as a Senior Counselor. A third student, Parker Hufnagel, was selected as an alternate Senior Counselor in case one of the senior counselors had to cancel for any reason.

In July 2019, the Rotary Club of Townsend sponsored another five RYLA campers plus the two counselors! Again, these seven students from Townsend were the largest contingent to attend RYLA from any high school in Montana!

In 2020, the RYLA camp was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. In 2021, the camp resumed, and Rotary sent one RYLA student to camp.

The Rotary Club of Townsend is proud to support BHS students attending RYLA Camp. It is a life-changing, leadership training event. Thank you, Montana Rotary District 5390, for providing Montana students this opportunity.

Organize Slice of Summer Family Fun Events

- Kids Playing at Slice of Summer -

Slice of Summer is a family-fun event held on the third Thursday of June, July, and August in Heritage Fun Park for over 10 years. Slice of Summer started after Broadwater County High School students mentioned in interviews for Rotary scholarships that Townsend needed some fun events for families like the Alive at Five event in Helena.

Slice of Summer includes Youth Activities that run from 1:00-5:00 pm and Family Activities that run from 5:00-8:00 pm. Youth activities typically include free use of the swimming pool, free bouncy rooms, face painting, a climbing wall, a magic show, sand pile treasure hunts, Snapology of Helena, free movies in the park after dark, etc. Kids get free lemonade and fruit from Rotary. Family activities include free musical entertainment and reasonably priced food and drink. Inexpensive food, starting mid-afternoon, is provided for families through 8 pm including hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, pizza, ice cream, etc. Music begins at 5 pm and goes to 8 pm. Many local bands have played at Slice of Summer over the years.

In 2020, Slice of Summer had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, but Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce teamed up to bring drive-in movies to the Fairgrounds. Many children in the community had never been to a drive-in movie.

In 2021, the Bike Safety Rodeo took the place of the June Slice of Summer event.

Promote Interact Club Activities

- Interact Club Freshman Team Building and Leadership Training 2021 -

After Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA) Camp 2017, a group of enthusiastic RYLA campers returned home to Townsend, with a mission in mind. They wanted to share with their fellow classmates the lessons in leadership that they had learned while at RYLA. They wanted to start a Rotary-sponsored Interact Club at Broadwater High School (BHS).

Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people, ages 12-18. It gives them the chance to make a real difference while having fun. Every Interact Club carries out two service projects a year: one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Interact helps young people: connect with community leaders, develop leadership skills, make international connections, and discover more opportunities to connect with Rotary.

The students recruited interested classmates and pitched the idea of an Interact Club to the Rotary Club of Townsend. According to former Rotary President Jeff Langlinais, “Our Rotary Club had been trying for years to get an Interact Club started; so, when the RYLA kids came back to town so motivated to start the Club, everything just fell into place.”

Together, with a handful of other students who also wanted to make a difference in their community, the campers founded the community-based Townsend Interact Club which was chartered in January 2018. Rotary provides a base budget of $1,000 per year to Interact.

Under the leadership of Club advisor Beth Ihle and the first Club president Daniel Wyse, Club members got to work. Their first mission was to bring RYLA trainer Karen Grosz of Canvas Creek Consulting to Townsend for “Freshman Team Building and Leadership Training.” Held just weeks after the Club was formed, the training was a smashing success. Feedback from BHS students and faculty was so positive that a follow-up training was scheduled for freshmen a few months later in April 2018 and continues each spring.

The Interact Club students were also asked by BHS faculty to help with Freshman orientation for the 2019-2020 school year and every year since.

In addition to the Freshmen training and orientation, the Club completes local and international projects each year. For international service, Club members hosted Rotary International Exchange students over rodeo weekend, provided ShelterBoxes to Haitian families in need, and made a service trip to Guatemala. In 2020, a planned trip to Morocco had to be cancelled due to COVID19 concerns.

On the local level, some of the activities Interact completed are…

  • Helped the Rotary with Slice of Summer and Fall Fest
  • Landscaped the local HeadStart Preschool yard
  • Helped paint the Senior Center
  • Helped remodel the Broadwater Food Pantry
  • Helped paint a room at the proposed Townsend Recreation Activity Center
  • Helped with Adopt-A-Highway cleanup
  • And others…

In Summer 2018, Rotarian Jen Lane became the new Club advisor. The Club has continued to thrive under Jen’s leadership. Jeanne Steele, a parent of four Interact Club members, says, “Jen has the energy to match the enthusiasm of these young adults and the Club continues to grow.”

Learn more about Interact at:

Award BHS Scholarships

After Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA) Camp 2017, a group of enthusiastic RYLA campers returned home to Townsend, with a mission in mind. They wanted to share with their fellow classmates the lessons in leadership that they had learned while at RYLA. They wanted to start a Rotary-sponsored Interact Club at Broadwater High School (BHS).

Every spring, Rotary is proud to award a minimum of three scholarships to BHS students. The awards presented are given to honor past Rotarians:

  • Rotary Frank Holloway Scholarship for $2,000
  • Rotary Holling/White Scholarship for $1,500
  • Rotary Mel Pottruff Scholarship for $1,000

Typically, a dozen students are interviewed to determine their service to the community, following Rotary’s motto “He profits most who serves best”. All applicants must demonstrate their unselfish community involvement and citizenship. Many of these students show initiative that will make them successful in life.

Rotary Funded Projects 2019-2021

to view a complete list of projects completed since 2019.

Youth Projects
  • Broadwater High School (BHS) Scholarships 2019, 2020, 2021 Annual Speech and Drama Showcase 2020, 2021
  • Pool Lifeguard Training 2019, 2021 (City didn’t use)
  • Bike Safety Rodeo 2021
  • Circus at Fairgrounds 2019
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Campers 2019, 2021 BHS Awards for Graduation 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Girls/Boys State Student Scholarships 2019, 2021
  • Support Broadwater Education Foundation Trivia Fundraiser at Fairgrounds 2019 Dictionaries for 3rd Graders 2021 4th Graders 2019, 2021
  • Graduation Cleanup Day at Townsend Schools 2019
  • Barb Kirscher Memorial Education Scholarship 2019, 2020, 2021 BHS Freshman Class Team Building/Leadership Training 2019, 2020, 2021 Fund Interact Club Budget 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Fund Interact Club Projects 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Help Assemble New Playground at Elementary School 2019
Senior Projects
  • Senior Center Upgrades 2020
  • Monthly Bingo at Nursing Home 2019
  • Co-Sponsor Senior Holiday Dinner and Light Tour with Lions 2019, 2021 Visit Residents at Nursing Home for Halloween 2019, 2021
  • Supplies for Senior Citizen Art Classes 2019, 2020, 2021
Interact Club Projects
  • BHS Freshman Team Training & Leadership Training 2019, 2021 Two Students Selected as RYLA Camp Counselors 2019
  • Help with Slice of Summer 2019
  • Help at Fall Fest to Raise Funds for Interact Budget 2019
  • 2019 International Project: Student Service Trip to Guatemala Sponsor Freshman Leadership Training and Help with Orientation at BHS 2019-21 Prom Dress Sale 2019
  • Sponsor Dodgeball Tournament 2019
  • Painted the Broadwater High School “B” West of Townsend 2020
  • Funded $1,000 ShelterBox for earthquake victims in Haiti in 2020
  • Help Paint Room at Proposed Townsend Recreation Activity Center
  • 2021 Help at Townsend Recreation Activity Center Fundraiser 2021
  • Funded Hygiene Improvement Project (HIP) Tippy-Tap Project in Guatemala 2021
Other Rotary Projects
  • Fall Fest 2019, 2021
  • Food Pantry Remodel with Amish Community and New Cooler
  • 2021 Food Pantry $1,000 Matching Grant 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Broadwater Community Connections Co-coordinator 2021
  • Organize Slice of Summer Celebrations 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Help Townsend Recreation Activity Center Cleanup, Paint, and Fundraiser
  • 2021 Help Broadwater County Health Department with Covid Supplies 2020
  • Sponsor Holiday Lighting Contest 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Adopt-a-Family(s) Holiday Grants 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Christmas Forest Display on Wheat Montana Lot 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Help Tree Board put up Holiday Lights in Business District Trees 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Help at Christmas Connection 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Ag Appreciation Dinner Sponsor 2019, 2021
  • Annual MVM County Yard Sale Sponsor 2019, 2021
  • MVM Community Cleanup Sponsor 2019
  • MVM COVID-19 Business Grant Committee Member 2020
  • Pass-the-Hat Fundraisers for Needy Causes 2019, 2020,2021 Help at ATV-Poker Run 2019
  • Highway Cleanup 2019; with Interact 2021
  • Social Services Committee Cowpie Bingo Sponsor 2019, 2021 Rodeo Ticket Sales 2019, 2021
  • Fund BHS Trophy Case for Rotary Scholarship Plaques and School Trophies 2019 Remembrances for Deceased Members 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Electrical System Upgrades in Heritage Fun Park 2019, 2021
  • Lighting Projects at Heritage Fun Park 2019
  • Loan Sandwich Boards for Community Event Advertising 2019, 2020, 2021 Loan Tables, Chairs, Other Supplies for Community Events 2019, 2020, 2021 Advertise Community Events on Website and Facebook 2019, 2020, 2021 Help with BHC Auxiliary Rodeo BBQ 2019
  • Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Sponsor 2019
  • Help Build New Fence at The Lodge 2019
  • Montana Rotary District 5390 Member Training 2019, 2020, 2021 Rotary International Zone Member Training 2019
  • Leadership Training at President Elect Training Seminars (PETS) 2019-21 Member Contributions to Rotary Foundation 2019, 2020, 2021 Member Contributions to Polio Eradication 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Training at International Waterton-Glacier Peace Park Assembly 2019 Support La Vega, Guatemala Water Project 2021