By Bruce Sayler
A variety of events are booked into the Butte Civic Center this school year, Advantage Butte members were told Tuesday.
Advantage Butte held its September meeting at the Butte Plaza Inn. The Civic Center use was among a handful of subjects discussed at the gathering.
Bill Melvin, Civic Center manager, highlighted The Mining City Duals wrestling tournament and the state Class B high school basketball tournament on the schedule. The wrestling tournament is set for early December and returns to the arena after about 25 years of it being held at Butte High School. The field is expected to be expanded and the use of the Civic Center allows the meet to all take place in one room. Butte High has used its two separate gyms as the tourney venue.
Melvin said the Civic Center is becoming more popular as a volleyball site, with improved crowd numbers for the Big Sky Volleyball Challenge college competition held in late August, and good response to the Western A Tip-Off meet that launched the 2018-19 high school season.
“And, the Advantage Butte Volleyball Classic (for club teams) will be March 23-25 in the Civic Center,” Melvin said. “We’re very excited about that.”
He added that the annual Butte High-Butte Central boys’ and girls’ basketball doubleheader has been moved up to December 23, hoping to cash in on a crowd that’s home for the holidays.
He also noted that the Butte High basketball schedule has some doubleheaders planned for the Civic Center this year under the Western AA Conference arrangements. Butte High has been playing in Eastern AA in more recent seasons, being moved to the West this school year to accommodate Belgrade’s reclassification to AA, and new Gallatin High of Bozeman joining Eastern AA when it begins play next year.
The State B tourney will be played in the Civic Center in March.
Advantage Butte Vice President Kami Johnson, of the Butte Plaza Inn and Dickey’s Barbecue, presided over the meeting. Treasurer Brad Johnson, of the Anderson ZurMuehlen and Company firm, reported $16,369 in the organization’s checking account, with $1,400 committed from last year and $21,600 in present fiscal year commitments.
Johnson presented a proposal from Montana Special Olympics seeking $5,000 to help defray costs in holding the organization’s state basketball tournament in Butte in November. Johnson said the request was reviewed by the executive board and forwarded with recommendation to approve. Melvin moved for approval, Lisa Bracco of the Hampton Inn seconded the motion. It passed easily on voice vote.
“The Butte community has been incredible,” Jamie Wood, representing Montana Special Olympics, said while attending the meeting. “We appreciate the support and it all starts with Advantage Butte.”
Wood said recruitment of volunteers is beginning as preparations continue for holding the state tournament, which is committed to Butte for three years. She said an October 1 press conference will provide more details.
Don Peoples Jr. of Butte Central Catholic Schools said the system is celebrating homecoming this week with the 1969 Maroons’ state championship football team to be especially honored on its 50th anniversary. The Homecoming football game will be Friday night against Corvallis at Bob Green Field on the Montana Tech campus.
Peoples said 95 Butte Central high school students are involved in fall sports programs.
He said the Maroon Activities Center will be used for the District 12-C basketball tournament, February 20-22. He said he has been asked to bid on the 2021 Western C Divisional basketball tourney as the MAC’s director. He noted, too, that the MAC will be one of the gyms used in the Special Olympics state tourney.
J.P. Gallagher, Butte-Silver Bow Parks & Recreation director, said the state parks & recreation conference will be held at the Copper King Inn, April 19-22.
Advantage Butte Secretary Dorea Wilmoth, of Butte Comfort Inn/Town Pump Food Stores, and Melvin both said the Montana Tech golf tournament hosted with the Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce and held this year in honor of the late Lee LaBreche was a large success.
Melvin said community events held over the summer were well-received by the public.
The next Advantage Butte meeting is scheduled for October 15 in the Butte Plaza Inn.