In 1997, a Presidents’ Summit was held in Washington, D.C., laying the groundwork for what would become America’s Promise — Alliance for Youth. That program was chaired by retired Army General Colin Powell with the goal of improving the lives and futures of America’s youth.
In 1998, following the Governor’s Summit on Youth for Montana’s Promise, a group called Partnership for Promise began in Richland County. Twenty-one years later, they’re still in the trenches of community action in the area.
“We had 120 people in the basement of the library for the initial Partnership for Promise meeting,” said Ray Trumpower, one the earliest members. “They had tons and tons of ideas.”
Trumpower said it was a mixture of children and adults who began the group. That’s changed today, as the Partnership doesn’t currently have any youth members.
Some of the ideas formed during those early meetings that came to fruition include helping to bring the Boys and Girls Club to Richland County, building the skate park and assisting in the formation of the Community Strategic Plan, made up of many community action groups.
“If you take the entire strategic plan and the action groups and the volunteers, there’s probably a couple thousand people involved in that process,” Trumpower said.
“Partnership for Promise is an action group of Communities in Action,” member Kali Godfrey said. “Communities in Action is a community building project that brings partners together to complete strategies in the Richland County ‘Quality of Life’ Strategic Plan. Partnership for Promise is our youth based coalition.”
The Partnership for Promise operates based on five promises to children and youth: caring adults, safe places, healthy start, marketable skills and opportunities to serve. Under each of those categories are different community action groups, sometimes overlapping into two or more categories. The Boys and Girls Club, for example, serves under caring adults and safe places.
Other programs and sub-programs focus on drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention, like the DUI Task Force who host a mock crash for area students in the past.
The new strategic plan for 2019-2021 was recently approved by the group and includes a peer-to-peer programs to provide support for bullying victims and prevent bullying. The program is in the process of being structured.
“We are looking for a program that’s evidence based and proven to work,” Godfrey said.
Partnership for Promise is also looking to tackle another daunting local issue — availability and quality of preschools. They are also focusing on family engagement with programs like “Parenting Montana.”
To get involved with Partnership for Promise or for more information, meetings are the second Thursday of every month at 10 a.m., at the community services building in front of the Justice Center.
“Well especially since it’s all volunteers, it’s so great to have all these resources available and they keep us safe.”
- Carrie Mesman
“Because they are quick to put out fires and to get there.”
- Jackie Herbst
“Because they are quick on demand and get there fast.”
- Evan Erikson
“They’re there when you need them. They take care of the community and keep us safe. They all take their jobs seriously. Any time, day or night. They put their lives on the line to put everyone else first.”
- Jan Bell
“They take care of the public whether it’s a structural loss or an accident. The work they do in the community makes people feel good to know they take care of us.”
- Rae Ann Klose
1 “No Soldier Left Behind” bronze sculpture by Lyle Schwabauer unveiling at MonDak Heritage Center at 2 p.m. The sculpture is in recognition of local men and women who served in Vietnam and during the conflict. Photographs of the Vietnam War take by Carl Hansen will also be displayed.
2 Memorial Day services and festivities will be held in Fairview and Sidney. Honor those who paid the ultimate price Monday, May 27.
3 Kids can receive certification as Safe Sitters®. Courses for young teens, grades six through eight at Sidney-Richland County Library. Registration deadline is Monday, May 27. Cost is $20. Call 433-1917 to register.
4 National Weather Service in Glasgow in conjunction with Richland and Dawson County Disaster and Emergency Services will be hosting a free Skywarn weather spotter training course Thursday, May 30, in Savage from 6 p.m. — 8 p.m., at the fire hall, 101 Main Street. For more information, contact Patrick Gilchrist at 406-228-2850 or Patrick.Gilchrist@noaa.gov.
5 The last day of school for Sidney school system is Friday, May 24, with a noon release. Enjoy the summer!
The e-waste program is Sidney is facing changes after its September event, as former head Beth Redlin steps down and other members of Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) plan to take it on.
“I’m not stepping away, I’ll still volunteer, but it’s time to pass it on,” Redlin said at the group’s meeting Tuesday, May 14.
LEPC member and Richland County Environmental Healthy Sanitarian Heather Luinstra is looking at taking the program over.
“It seems like a good fit,” Luinstra said.
While she is in the early stages of planning how to move forward with the e-waste program, she hopes to eventually rope it in with the annual Sidney Clean-up event. Traditionally, Seitz Insurance has headed the clean-up event, but Luinstra said there are other groups involved. If that happens, it’s a safe prediction the e-waste events would go from twice per year to once per year.
The last event gathered 14,300 pounds of e-waste from approximately 80 people. Since the program started in 2005, 483,000 pounds of e-waste have been kept out of the local landfill, which Redlin said has been filling up quickly in recent years due to the population boom.
Another collection will be held in September. Redlin’s goal for the next event is to hit 500,000 pounds of e-waste.
“The amount of waste we keep out of the landfill is worth keeping it going,” Luinstra said. “If we can keep our costs at a minimum and people participate, we are committed to keeping it going.”