Income from permanent endowment established by Lillian Kolar maintains FHS tennis courts and track

Fergus High School Athletic Director Jim Daniels (left) and Central Montana Foundation President Dean Comes stand at the recently resurfaced tennis courts, thanks to income earned from a permanent endowment gifted by Lillian Kolar in 1999. The FHS track will also get a facelift.
Photo courtesy of Central Montana Foundation

Carrie Mantooth

In 1999, Lillian Cervenka Kolar gifted funds to Central Montana Foundation to build the tennis courts at Fergus High School. Cognizant of the fact that school budgets are limited, Lillian also set up a permanent endowment for maintenance of the tennis courts and FHS track.
If you’ve driven past the tennis courts on the south side of FHS, you’ll see that resurfacing is almost complete and FHS will be unique in that the courts display the school’s blue and gold colors. FHS Athletic Director Jim Daniels said FHS will have the only colored courts he knows of anywhere in the state.
He said having the income from the endowment available for maintenance has been “a wonderful gift for Fergus High School and all of Central Montana.” Triton Construction is working on the project and will begin work on the all-weather track at FHS once the tennis courts are complete.
Lillian grew up in Benchland and went on to work as a physical education teacher and tennis coach in Billings before moving back to Central Montana and farming with her husband, Ed Kolar. She was interviewed in 1999 when she gifted funds for the tennis courts, the maintenance fund and her 480-acre farm west of Lewistown to CMF. She said her life’s philosophy was “to make my little corner of the world better for the fact that I was here.”
 “The generosity of people like Lillian Cervenka Kolar is a gift that continues long after they’re gone,” said CMF President Dean Comes. “It’s pretty remarkable that 17 years after she gave the gift and seven years after her death, her generosity is still making a difference. That’s a great legacy to have.”



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