By Katie Morrison Explorebigsky.com Staff Writer

BIG SKY – What started with The Club at Spanish Peaks homeowners reaching out to assist former Spanish Peaks employees through the LIFT program – short for Lifting Individuals and families with Financial Troubles – has become a nonprofit dedicated to the Big Sky area: the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation.

When the private club declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2011 and laid off most of its employees, LIFT grants helped 47 families who were affected.

Recognizing the outpouring of generosity from members who wanted to give back to the community, SPCF founder John Haas knew it was important to build upon that, and has now started the community foundation.

The SPCF board used member contributions that exceeded the LIFT grant requests to initiate the nonprofit and plans to allocate funds through a new grant process run by the SPCF board.

“The response has been incredible,” Haas said, enthusiastic about the support. “Our first event of the summer is happening in conjunction with the Beach Boys concert July 3 and is almost sold out.”

The auction of Spanish Peaks’ assets was held on June 3, 2013 at the federal courthouse in Butte.

The mission of the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation is to support the greater Big Sky area by funding community service projects, the arts, education, and management of the outdoors.

For more information, contact Haas at john@spanishpeaksfoundation.com or visit spanishpeaksfoundation.com.