Seeley Swan to Welcome

Communities | Recreation | Real Estate | Events | Lodging | Local History | Churches | Businesses | News & Features

Groundbreaking Ceremony
Kicks off Capital Campaign

 Related Story on Capital Campaign to raise $90,000 needed for completion.

Trustees Mary Ann Morin, Maryanne Judge, Tim Love,
and Dr. Keith Peterson unveil the sign and break ground.

Residents of the Seeley Swan and invited guests attend the groundbreaking ceremony for a new medical center.

Tim Love, left, receives a symbolic check for $400,000
from Bill Barr, center, and Dave Dickman, right.




Land Lindbergh from the Ovando Chutney Foundation.

June 22, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana

Story & Photos by Gary Noland

It possibly was one of the first ground-breaking ceremonies in Seeley Lake and the board of trustees did it with flair for many people who showed up at the site where a new medical center will be built.

There was a tent, in case of rain or sunshine, refreshments, chairs on the freshly logged turf in the Deer Park Addition along Highway 83, a sound system for the microphone, and a host of VIP's who took turns at the microphone.

Jack Copps served as spokesperson for the trustees of the Seeley Swan Medical District at last Wednesday's groundbreaking ceremony.

"Today, thanks to the many people who have worked so hard and contributed so much, we will break ground for a new, first class primary care medical center...a facility that will address the medical needs of our growing community and our many visitors. And we do this on a 3 1/2 acre site with the potential to expand and become a medical complex housing a broad range of medical services," Copps said in welcoming the guests.


Jack Copps,
spokesperson for the trustees.

The new medical center, a $700,000 project which will replace the one off Cottonwood Lakes Road by Thanksgiving, will be built without any new taxes.

"That is not only unusual, that is a rarity," Copps said, adding however that another $90,000 is needed yet to finish construction to the quality desired.

In recognizing the source of this funding, Copps introduced Kirsten Forsyth, a representative from Senator Max Baucus' office.

"Max provided the political steam," Copps said, for a $400,000 interest free loan from the US Dept. of Agriculture. The request for the loan came from Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative and Copps credited Vice President of Finance at Blackfoot Telephone, Dave Dickman, and Bill Barr, regional director for USDA Rural Economic Development for helping the trustees with a trail of paperwork necessary for the application.

In introducing Land Lindbergh, representative of the Chutney Foundation, an Ovando foundation that gave the medical district a $150,000 check, Copps said, "The Chutney Foundation provided the launching pad, the final golden touch necessary to make today possible."

St. Patrick's Hospital, which manages the local medical center through its subsidiaries, provided additional assistance with grant and loan requests as well as guaranteeing repayment of the $400,000 USDA loan. Copps thanked St. Patrick's trustee Jake Block for this help.

Also invited to speak briefly was Jean Curtis, a candidate for County Commissioner, who is a graduate of Seeley Swan High School and whose mother, Marian Seemans, served on the medical center board in its earliest years.

Tim Love, chairperson of the trustee board, gave additional thanks to several people and organizations locally and for generous contributions from Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation and Ruth Fitzgerald.

Then, with a gold-plated shovel, Love symbolically broke ground, and other trustees Mary Ann Morin, Dr. Keith Peterson and Marianne Judge unveiled a sign with a graphic rendition of the new center, now under construction.

See Related Story on Capital Campaign to raise $90,000 needed for completion.


Return to June, 2000 News Contents Page
Return to News Index Page