Tancy and I have called Billings home since 1987, and during that time, we have established our lives here, raised our three boys here, and been blessed by so many of the wonderful opportunities this community has to offer – great schools, hospitals, colleges, theaters and arts – Billings is a great place to live and raise a family!
For the past ten years I have had the pleasure of serving as a member of the Billings Community Foundation (BCF) Board of directors, the last two years as Past President, and I am proud of what has been accomplished over the life of this organization. Last year, Tancy and I mad a $300,000 matching challenge to the community because we have seen firsthand how communities thrive when local organizations support community efforts and embrace collaboration. We are thrilled the challenge was successfully met and for the added services and programs that will be made possible with the purchase of the BCF “Home of Philanthropy”.
We are also pleased that the BCF Home of Philanthropy will include the “Mary John Spence Community Room” as a meeting space for nonprofit activity named after my Mother. Mary John Spence lived in Tyler, Texas, served on multiple community boards, and received the “Outstanding Philanthropist Award” from the East Texas Communities Foundation. In 2015, only months before she passed away at age 94, she sponsored the “Art of the Brick” Lego exhibit at The Tyler Museum of Art. She loved encouraging children’s interest in art and worked extensively to bring the opportunity to Tyler, TX after hearing of its success in Billings, MT.
Mary John Spence provided an amazing example of commitment to community through a lifetime of service that we hope will inspire others. The Billings Community Foundation exemplifies her dedication to the support of philanthropic activities in our region and has supported community goals through assisting charitable giving, grants-making, and other philanthropic services since 2007.
We are delighted to have the opportunity to assist BCF in establishing a permanent home from which to serve the philanthropic needs of our community and strongly encourage others to join us in supporting this exciting step towards future growth!