Whitefish Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Mary Jane and Russell Street have gifted the Whitefish Community Foundation a significant bequest that will greatly benefit the Whitefish community for generations to come. The Street trust gifted $1.1 Million to the Community Foundation. The funds will be placed in an Endowment Fund that will be used to further the mission of the Foundation to benefit the Whitefish community. “The faith and trust Mary Jane and Russ Street have placed in our Foundation speaks well of our efforts on behalf of our nonprofit community,” said Foundation Board President Carol Atkinson. “Simply put, their generosity will help us do even more,” she said.
Russ and Mary Jane Street were very instrumental in the early development of Whitefish. They opened Street’s Grocery in 1947 on Central Avenue which they operated for 16 years. During this time they developed and marketed a spice product called Alpine Touch. It is still on store shelves today. In the late ’50s Mary Jane and Russ, together with partners, bought the Bay Point Cabin Camp. They operated Bay Point through the ’60s and, after buying out their partners, went on to develop Bay Point Resort Condominiums and later Bay Point Country Homes.
Russ was very involved with the Whitefish Mountain Resort known at that time as the Big Mountain Ski Resort. Besides being a member of its first Board of Directors, he was also a get-it-done man, meaning you would find him doing whatever job the ski resort needed: parking cars, delivering food supplies for the restaurant from Street’s Grocery (taking company stock when they could not afford to pay for the food) and financially helping to keep the ski resort afloat in its early days. Mary Jane was right alongside Russ helping at the ski resort, managing the grocery store, running the Bay Point Cabins and having fun as part of the original “dirty dozen” planning the annual Whitefish Winter Carnival. Mary Jane spent her entire life in Whitefish and her affection for her home town was the reason for the Legacy gift. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Whitefish and started an Endowment Fund at the Whitefish Community Foundation that greatly benefits the church today and will continue for years to come. Mike Jenson, one of the original founders of the Community Foundation and the nephew of Mary Jane said, “Russ and Mary Jane’s early pride in Whitefish and their efforts to help build our community will continue with this bequest. I believe they would be happy knowing they will continue to be a part of that effort through the Whitefish Community Foundation.”
The Whitefish Community Foundation would like to thank former Foundation Board member Gerald Hanson for setting up and managing the charitable trust for Mary Jane that continued to provide for her throughout her lifetime.
For more information about leaving a legacy to your community please call the Foundation. There are so many ways you can leave your mark on your community and planning it now will ensure that your wishes are met and your legacy has the greatest impact. Our small community will be a strong community able to meet the important and critical needs of its citizens thanks to individuals like Mary Jane and Russell Street.