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The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, representing Montana Resources' founder Dennis Washington, gave $1.3 million in 2015 to Butte organizations.

A significant portion of that — $1 million — went to the Butte American Legion for the baseball field off South Montana Street.

Between 2014 to the first half of 2016, the foundation has averaged around $300,000 a year in donations to the Mining City.

But while the foundation, in conjunction with Montana Resources, gives big in Butte, the foundation’s policy is to avoid seeking attention.

And that's the way industrialist Dennis Washington wants it, said Missoula-based Mike Halligan, director of government and corporate relations for the Washington Corporation.

“Dennis doesn’t want us to toot our horn about what we give,” Halligan said Thursday. “We’re giving people tools to succeed.”

The Butte YMCA announced Wednesday that it is receiving $300,000 from the foundation in conjunction with MR to enable sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders free access to the YMCA’s pool, gym and specific teen program. Halligan said the foundation was OK with that announcement because the public needs to know so kids can take advantage of the gift.

“It’s important to us that parents enroll their kids (in the Y’s free program), so it made sense to go public,” Halligan said.

But that's a deviation from the in-house policy. When The Montana Standard requested a list of the foundation’s charitable donations to Butte in 2015 and the first half of 2016, which are not yet available through tax filings, Halligan complied but said that making that information public “puts us outside of our comfort zone.”

According to tax filings, the foundation gave $278,000 to Butte organizations in 2014. In the first half of 2016, the foundation donated $387,520.

Halligan said that how much the foundation gives from year to year can vary quite a bit.

In addition, MR has given approximately $15,000 in 2014 and 2015 in small donations around town and likely will do so again by the end of 2016, said Mike McGivern, MR vice president for human resources.

“We’re trying to be a good corporate citizen,” he said.

MR’s small donations align within the foundation’s parameters of giving, McGivern said. The foundation gives to education, arts and culture, health and human services, and community services, according to its website.

Halligan added that the foundation tries to make donations that have a long-term impact and involve partnerships in order to “widen the impact.”

The organizations to which the foundation has donated in 2015 and so far in 2016 and the amounts donated follow:

2016

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butte Silver Bow, $3,750

Butte Family YMCA, $50,000

Butte Family YMCA, $100,000

Butte Family YMCA, $7,500

Butte Kiwanis Sunshine Camp, $270

Butte Symphony Association, $3,500

Butte Symphony Association, $7,500

Community Counseling and Correctional Services, $5,000

Evel Knievel Days, $2,500.00 

Mainstreet Uptown Butte, $50,000

Mainstreet Uptown Butte $50,000

Montana East-West Shrine Game Inc., $2,500

Montana Tech-AGC Club, $5,000

Montana Tech Foundation, $5,000

Montana Tech Foundation, $2,500

Montana Tech Foundation-Scholarships, $25,000

Montana Tech Foundation-Scholarships, $15,000

Orphan Girl Productions, Inc., $20,000

Safe Space, Inc., $7,500

Silver Bow Montessori School, $250

St. James Healthcare Foundation, $1,000

Young Musicians Club, $3,750

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - Butte Central Education Foundation, $20,000. (This is a three-year grant to the Butte Central Education Foundation specifically to help maintain the Maroon Activities Center so that all nonprofits and others who want to use the facility will have access to it.)

Total 2016 grant payments to Butte organizations (through July 2016): $387,520

2015

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butte Silver Bow Inc., $2,500

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butte Silver Bow Inc., $2,500

Boys & Girls Club of Butte Silver Bow, $1,000

Boys & Girls Club of Butte Silver Bow, $1,000

Butte Catholic Board of Education, $480

Butte Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., $5,000

Butte Emergency Food Bank, $8,000

Butte Emergency Food Bank, $8,000

Butte Family YMCA, $50,000

Butte Family YMCA, $5,000

Butte Family YMCA, $35,000

Butte Rescue Mission, $5,000

Butte Rescue Mission, $5,000

Butte School District 1, $7,426

Butte Symphony Association, $3,500

Butte Symphony Association, $10,000

Butte Trap and Skeet Club, $1,000

City & County of Butte-Silver Bow-American Legion, $1,000,000

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, $455

Earth Shuttle of Butte, $1,500

Headwaters Resource Conservation and Development Area Inc., $2,500

Human Resources Council District XII, $15,000

Little League Baseball, Inc., dba Mile High Little League, $2,500

Mainstreet Uptown Butte, $50,000

Mainstreet Uptown Butte, $50,000

Montana Economic Revitalization and Development Institute Inc., $25,000

Montana Gaelic Cultural Society, $1,500

Montana Tech Foundation, $2,500

Montana Tech Foundation, $5,000

Montana Tech Foundation - Scholarships, $10,000

Orphan Girl Productions, Inc., $2,500

Orphan Girl Productions, Inc., $10,000

Our Lady of the Rockies, $500

Safe Space, Inc., $5,000

Salvation Army - Butte, $1,000

Salvation Army - Butte, $2,000

Spirit of Columbia Gardens Carousel Foundation, Inc., $5,000

St. James Healthcare Foundation, $1,000

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - Butte Central Education Foundation, $20,000 (This is a three-year grant to the Butte Central Education Foundation specifically to help maintain the Maroon Activities Center so that all nonprofits and others who want to use the facility will have access to it.)

United Way of Butte and Anaconda, $3,000

Vigilante Rodeo and Saddle Club Inc., $500

Young Musicians Club, $2,500

Total 2015 grant payments to Butte organizations: $1,369,361

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Nat'l Resources / General Reporter

Environmental and natural resources reporter for the Montana Standard.

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