There are still millions of dollars to go, but a Missoula agency is celebrating another major gift to its fund drive to completely re-work an operation that's critical to the future of Montana families.

For the past year, Missoula Family YMCA's "Here for Good" capital campaign has been raising funds for the first major upgrade of its facilities, and adding new programs and services.

That campaign has already passed the $15 million mark, enough to cover "many parts" of the multiple phases of the project, although there are still components that you can help with before the drive is set to finish.

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Full funding includes a new child care center which will provide critical services at a time when many working families are struggling to find child care. Money has also been allocated for a locker room renovation and remodeling of the Y's fitness facilities.

Donation honors one of the Ys early 'sparkplugs'

The campaign was happy to announce another major gift this week, an anonymous donation honoring Pat Dodson, the Y's original CEO, who helped stabilize the organization, which had started in 1967.

“When I first started in 1971, Missoula had tried to start a YMCA two or three times. The town didn’t think the Y would make it, and that was an incentive for me to make sure the Y made it,” said Dodson, a former Griz football player.

He recalls auctions, using a borrowed backhoe to install water, launching soccer programs, and building the first "kid-friendly" gym.

“Little kids weren’t able to reach the baskets and were getting discouraged,” explained Dodson. “We built the Blue Gym with a smaller setup so kids could make baskets and feel successful.”

Now Dodson's name will be attached to the new "Blue Gym."

Courtesy of the Missoula Family YMCA
Courtesy of the Missoula Family YMCA

Donations still needed

There are three parts of the program still need funding, including a new Youth Innovation Center, a new community court, and a remodeled pool. Supporters hope to hit the $19.3 million dollar target by December 31st.

“We are absolutely blown away by the support this community has shown our Y,” said Heather Foster, CEO of the Missoula Family YMCA. “Right now, we need to raise the final $3.9 million by December to bring the full project to fruition.”

For more information about the project or to contribute to the YMCA Here for Good capital campaign, please visit or email Kate Rodriguez at

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