By Bruce Sayler
Advantage Butte ponied up tournament bucks Tuesday to help with expenses related to playing host to sporting events in The Mining City.
Action at the September meeting of Advantage Butte in the Butte Plaza Inn saw the group vote funding for the recently held Big Sky Volleyball Challenge tournament, a college meet held in the Montana Tech HPER Center and the Maroon Activities Center in mid-August. The group approved a recommendation by the Advantage Butte Executive Committee to provide $7,500 toward expenses. Ed Heard Jr. of the Butte-Silver Bow Parks and Recreation Department moved for the allotment and Dave Andrews of The Metals Sports Bar and Grill seconded the motion. It passed easily on a voice vote.
Montana Special Olympics was the approved for $2,500 toward its state basketball tournament set for Butte in early November. Stephanie Sorini, Butte-Silver Chamber of Commerce executive director, made the motion, seconded by Maria Pochervina, also of the Chamber, provided the second. Ron Davis said the amount fell within parameters of the Advantage Butte Executive Committee recommendations of no more than $5,000 be approved with several other community sports projects being considered for financial help from Advantage Butte resources.
Davis, owner and chief executive of Butte Broadcasting Co., is a past president of Advantage Butte.
A report from Brad Spear, Advantage Butte treasurer and a representative to the group from the Anderson ZurMuehlen Co. firm, said $38,752 exists in the organization’s checking account, $19,100 of which had been committed prior to Tuesday’s meeting. Davis relayed the report to those attending the meeting.
The Executive Committee, in an emergency action, committed $,7000 from Advantage Butte’s account toward the holding of the 2023 state Class AA-B track meet in Butte. Davis told that the Montana High School Association contact the group about securing the Bulldog Memorial Stadium facility, including the Charlie Merrifield Track, for the meet after deciding to remove it from Bozeman. No specific reason was given at the meeting, but it was thought the Bozeman facility had been deemed insufficient due to smaller seating capacity concerns.
Chad Petersen, Butte Central Catholic High School activities director, reminded the Western A Divisional high school golf tournament is being played this week in Libby. The Maroons are entered.
He also said the 25-team Butte Central Blocktober Classic high school volleyball tournament is slated for October 24-25 at three locations in Butte, the MAC serving as the primary venue with other matches being held in the Montana Tech HPER Cpomplex and in the new East Middle School gym. Past years saw the Butte Civic Center be the second location but is unavailable this year because of its use for the “1923” television series currently being produced in Butte.
MAC manager Brendan McDonough said the Butte Central facility will be site of this year’s Butte Rescue Mission Dinner, a fund-raiser normally held in the Civic Center. McDonough also said gym commitments are needed in February for district and divisional Class C basketball tournaments. The MAC is the primary venue, but a second spot for Saturday morning loser-out play is also needed. If the MAC is needed for a Class A play-in tourney contest the Thursday of the Class C tourney, an alternate venue needs to be found for then. Advantage Butte members seemed confident the solution will materialize with East being a possibility, and also Montana Tech’s HPER Complex, providing it isn’t already scheduled for an event then. Montana Tech Athletic Director Matt Stepan said he would check the building schedule.
Don Peoples Jr., Butte Central schools president, said though shot clocks are to be required for Montana high school basketball beginning this coming season, schools are having trouble having their orders filled. Delivery, and possibly manufacturing, of the clocks is well behind schedule. Peoples said, consequently, the MHSA has lifted the requirement that all gyms must be equipped with the clocks for basketball games this season. However, any sites serving as tournament hosts, must have the clocks, he said, according to the decision.
Stepan said Montana Tech will play host for the first-time ever to a home cross country meet when the Oredigger runners vie with opponents on the Highland View Golf Course grounds on October 8. Before then, however, Montana Tech will celebrate Homecoming next week, including the Wednesday night volleyball match versus Carroll in the HPER Complex, and highlighting the football game versus Montana State-Northern on October 1 at Bob Green Field.
Heard said coordinated efforts from Butte Silver-Bow Parks and Recreation, Butte Civic Center and The Depot staffs greatly helped make for a successful Justin Moore concert at Copper Mountain Youth Sports Park last Friday. The concert had to be moved from the Civic Center due to the facility’s current unavailability to the outside location. He said a rainstorm prior to the concert may have dented the expected attendance figures.
Heard added that the annual Butte Rotary Club Duck Race, held September 9 at Ridge Waters in Stodden Park was also a success and benefitted he Butte Parks and Trails Foundation Sponsored Swimming Projects and local Rotary club projects.
Heard said both Ridge Waters waterpark and Highland View Golf Course, both located at Stodden Park, experienced record attendance this summer, but final numbers are awaiting confirmation and are to be released later.
He said one local parks-and-rec project remains on the agenda. A Halloween softball tourney is planned for October 8-9 with participants to play in costumes.
He added the recently opened Back 9 Restaurant in the Jack Crowley Clubhouse at Highland View Golf Course is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Sorini, also owner of the Butte 100 mountain bike spectacular, said 342 participated in this year’s race, held in July, with several entrants absent due to lack of training, illness and “other reasons.” She said 18 states were represented and three races of different distances were held. She said the event was successful, “one of the best, at year No. 16.” She said planning is ongoing for next year’s race, and the Butte 100 continues to grow in reputation, beginning to be “recognized at a national level through sponsorships.” “We have great volunteers,” Sorini enthused.
The next Advantage Butte meeting is scheduled for October 18 at the Butte Plaza Inn.
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