CHOTEAU — Rich Clough is not just a member of the Choteau Lions Club. He is a musician who is looking to establish a permanent band shell in Choteau.
If successful, the band shell will be located on the east side of the Choteau Pavilion at Choteau City Park, and the project is off to a hot start with the pouring of concrete footings and forms, and most recently, a $20,000 donation from First Bank Montana in Choteau.
First Bank Montana president Lyle Hodgskiss said, "We commonly make donations. This is probably an exceptionally large one, because we felt like we needed to help them get an adequate amount to get going on the project, and it's kind of self-fulfilling once they have that core amount of funds, then hopefully more money fills in."
He continued, "Being a community bank, community is how we survive, and thrive, and it's just important for us to give back to the community, and give back to an organization that we know the money is going to be put to good use."
Clough said the Lions Club has been working for about a year to find funding for the band shell, which is estimated to cost up to $63,000.
When asked about the donation, Clough stated, "it was extremely important ... This project wouldn't have started had it not been for the donation. We raised about $37,000 and we think it will take about 60 to $63,000 to get everything done. There is still wiring, lighting inside the bandshell, but it will get there eventually."
The First Bank branch in Lewistown also funded a large part of a band shell.
The shell will be made of concrete, masonry block and timber and will have a metal roof to match the Pavilion. It will also have its own electrical wiring and box to allow for lights and electric instruments.
Clough obtained photographs and measurements of a band shell in Wisconsin.
Pacific Steel will be assisting with the railings for the stairs.
Up to 10 Lions Club members will also help build the band shell.
Clough said the project has also received several $1,000 donations and has pledges for several more. One being a memorial received in memory of long-time band member Victor Perkins, who was killed in a tractor accident on his ranch back in June 27, 2020. His family members are also contributing to the band shell fund.
Hodgskiss said he aimed for the project to be done for the July 4th celebrations, but even though that's already passed, he is now aiming his sights for August.
Clough said, "we hope to possibly have weekly bands in here, or some music event, or some other types of events during the summer, but it will actually be an economic boom for the community if we can pull that off."
Anyone interested in donating to the project can send tax-deductible donations to the Rocky Mountain Front Community Foundation.
Hodgskiss said he aimed for the project to be done for the July 4th celebrations, but even though that's already passed, he is aiming his sights for August.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, send it to: Rocky Mountain Front Community Foundation, PO Box 619, Choteau, MT 59422