In a surprise announcement today, Rotary Club of Great Falls learned that the long-awaited construction of a new lodge at Camp Rotary will begin in August, made possible by a generation donation from Ian and Nancy Davidson.
Camp Rotary has been a service project of the Great Falls club since 1918. Through a special use permit by the U.S. Forest Service, the 4.5-acre site in the Lewis and Clark Forest, five miles south of Monarch, hosts more than 800 children each year through programs offered by various community organizations. With the construction of the new all-weather lodge, Camp Rotary can operate year-round, offering many more children and programs the opportunity to use Camp Rotary at minimal cost.
As the longest-enrolled member of Rotary Club of Great Falls, Ian Davidson was well aware of the challenges the aging facility was facing, as well as the good works the camp has historically made possible for children living in challenging circumstances. His donation will allow the club to demolish the present lodge and construct an entirely new one in its footprint. Bruce Davidson will be the architect for the project, with Sletten Construction handling the construction. Davidson Lodge, as the new lodge will be called, will be ready for campers by June 2013.
Marianne Granlie, past president and current secretary/treasurer for Rotary Club of Great Falls, noted that although Harvest Howl generates revenues for the ongoing maintenance and operation of Camp Rotary, revenues for the badly needed new construction seemed beyond reach. “We cannot thank the Davidsons enough for their generosity.” She said. “Their good works can be seen throughout the community and the state, and how appropriate that our most veteran member has ensured that our most veteran project can continue for another 94 years.”
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