Lolo Community Club
In 1953, members of our community got together and created the Lolo Community Club with the goal of cultivating positive interactions between Lolo residents. They felt the need to establish a venue where local folks could gather for all kinds of activities. The aim was to open a community center to promote the emotional welfare and happiness of the town. The club building was the hub for community activity and hosted all types of community events! People voted there, had events for school kids, potlucks, dances, special fundraising dinners, and other social events such as weddings and memorials. The club was so successful that members raised money to build the larger center on 10 acres of donated land just south of town. Using donations and the willing hands of many in the community, the new Lolo Community Center had its grand opening in 1974. With the increase space both inside and out, the use of this wonderful community asset continued to grow.
Many clubs continue to meet at Lolo Community center and it’s still a wonderful location to host many of the same activities that have been held over the last 67 years. In addition to providing over 5,000 square feet of indoor meeting space for a variety of civic clubs, organizations, and events, the expanded grounds now host six ball fields and a pavilion for picnics as well as room for car shows and farmers markets. The center also is the home of the Lolo Food Bank, helping over 20 local families meet their nutritional needs. In recent years, the club has shifted its focus slightly and is also now hosting a variety of events for the entire community that include dances, Lolo days, a haunted house, a Christmas tree lighting, and an egg hunt. All of these events are free and open to the public. This year has also seen the instillation of a small community lending library just outside the front door. Reaching out beyond Lolo, we have also provided a location for Missoula County Health Department mobile COVID-19 testing. In addition, the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team also utilized our facilities as they fought forest fires burning in the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho.
Our future plans for the club have not changed from the original vision of our founders. Making it the focal point of social and educational activity in our small town is foremost in our minds One particular noteworthy project that is underway includes installation of a modern Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) playground. We will continue to fundraise to repair, upgrade, and improve the facility to increase its use by our neighbors in the Lolo community. Specific goals include growing the number of users and hosting monthly community events. There is a lot of home town pride here and our hope is that the Lolo Community Center plays a significant part.