Finances allow Advantage Butte to OK new requests

Advantage Butte finished the school sports year with positive financial numbers. Therefore, the event procurement group voted to spend some money on projects for next year.
The report and action were given and taken during the June meeting of Advantage Butte held June 17 at the Butte Plaza Inn.
Advantage Butte treasurer Brad Spear, of Anderson Zurmuehlen and Co., said $17,969 existed in the group’s checking account. He added that $11,000 of the amount has been committed to pay for events held the 2013-14 school year. It left $6,969 to be carried over for 2014-15 events the group will underwrite or help fund.
With membership dues yet to be collected for next school year, Advantage Butte voted to go ahead and promise funding for four attractions set in 2014-15. A college volleyball tournament, a professional rodeo and two amateur swim meets will be the beneficiaries of the action.
Montana Tech requested the help with the women’s volleyball tournament, the inaugural Big Sky Volleyball Challenge. Montana Tech will be the co-host of the 12-team tourney, set for Sept. 5-6. Advantage Butte approved an amount of $2,000 toward the event. The money will be paid toward lodging costs for non-Frontier Conference teams playing in Butte during the tourney, one meal for the teams and for officials’ expenses. Frontier Conference teams will foot their own costs.
Defending NAIA narional champion Texas-Brownsville (37-0 last year) is entered in the tournament as is 20-13 runner-up Biola (Calif.). Other entrants from outside the Frontier Conference are California-Merced, College of Idaho, Dickinson (N.D.) State and Concordia-Irvine (Calif.). Frontier Conference members set to compete are Montana Tech, Carroll, Montana State-Northern, Great Falls, Westminster and Rocky Mountain.
Montana Tech athletic director David Lau and head volleyball coach Brian Solomon were present and answered questions about the tournament prior to the membership voting to approve the amount after the motion was made by Bute Civic Center director Bill Melvin and seconded by Jeff Gorman of McDonald’s.
Melvin and Ron Davis, of Butte Broadcasting, led the push to OK another $2,000 appropriation, one that will keep the Northern Rodeo Association (NRA) Finals in Butte. Advantage Butte president Desiree Shogren, of the Comfort Inn, said that the group’s executive board met about the requests prior to the general monthly meeting and favored approving all.
The rodeo is scheduled for Oct. 9-11 in the Civic Center. The request was first asked by rodeo representative Doug Clark of Butte, but the Civic Center now holds the NRA Finals promotion contract through 2016, Melvin said. Davis credited Melvin with saving the rodeo for Butte.
The NRA Finals had been held in Billings for several years before Butte lured away in 2011 with a three-year contract. Attendance slumped some last year, which had reportedly been disappointing to the rodeo board and plans to investigate other potential venues were mentioned, Davis said.
The May meeting of Advantage Butte saw the group give the OK for financial backing to the Butte Tarpon Swim Team to bid on three state meets, hoping the help would be enough to bring one to town.
So, Shogren said, it was a “pleasant” surprise when the Tarpons came home from their state meeting with two meets to be held in Butte — state Senior Championships, to be held in November, and the state Short-Course Meet, slated for Maech 6-8.
The request, therefore, was for Advantage Butte to provide $2,500 for each meet, paying for rental of the Butte Family YMCA pool so it can be the meet venue.
Melvin made the motion for approval and Marko Lucich, executive director of the Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce, seconded. The membership approved.
Also mentioned at the meeting were that Butte will again play host to the Good Sam Samboree camper gathering in the Butte Civic Center parking lots, July 9-13, that the Civic Center will be the site of the Silver Bow Couny Fair July 29-Aug.2 and a reminder that the state Class AA high school boys’ and girls’ basketball tournaments will be played in the Civic Center next March. A combined tournament, it is usually the largest attendance draw of any state high school baketball tournament in Montana, Davis and Melvin said.
The members also discussed, after the meeting, the need to expand Butte’s volunteer pool to help staff the different sporting events Advantage Butte is bringing to town as economic development enterprises. With so much volunteering going for Butte events, a concern is that the ranks might be feeling the wear and so replenishment and recruitment is needed.
Service groups will likely be approached. Lau said he will carry the message to Montana Tech in hopes that, at least, the student-athletes might make themselves available to help in such a manner.
Advantage Butte will not meet in July. The group’s next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 19 at the Butte Plaza Inn.

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