Exchange is an all-volunteer, national service organization for men and women who want to serve their community, develop leadership skills and enjoy new friendships. Exchange is made up of 665 clubs with 19,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
We sell the beer and wine throughout the MetraPark Arena buildings and grounds except for the horse racing Grandstand. This allows us, through good sales and no labor cost, to raise thousands of dollars for the charities listed on the right hand side of this page. Thousands of dollars can be raised in a single 3-5 hour volunteer shift. Each member is assigned several shifts per month for a total of 15+ shifts per year. Our spouses and friends often help out to lighten the load. This gives us the opportunity to meet new people, have a good time, and still provide a meaningful contribution to our community.
While Billings has tens of thousands of hard working volunteers who help make this a better place in so many ways, cold hard cash is required as well. So we focus our time on raising cash and then investing it in Child Abuse Prevention and Children At Risk programs that direct service to kids and parents.
We give in the opposite way of government and foundation funding: NO enormous applications, NO expensive record-keeping/audits, NO funding of only "pilot projects", and NO Glamour. We don't care about recognition, only results. So, we keep funding the effective programs that work towards protecting and healing children.
Exchange Clubs were started in Detroit in 1901 and differ little from Kiwanis, Optimists, Lions, Soroptimists, or Jaycees as service clubs. The first club in Billings began in 1954 and made its mark selling beer at horseraces and developing the Par 3 Golf Course. They spawned this club on April 1, 1967. The Heights and Big Sky Exchange Clubs were subsequently started by the Billings and Breakfast Exchange Clubs and we all work together on projects.
By 1976, as our members stood in the hot dusty parking lots of Metrapark waving cars along with yardsticks and flashlights to raise money, then Club President, Cy Jameson, found a better way and launched a 40 year relationship as the volunteer beer sellers of Metra. This galvanized the club to grow from 20 members up to 65-85 members for the past 20 years.
Recognized for most of the past 10 years as the outstanding Exchange Club in the Montana-Idaho district, we are know as innovators, improvisers, continually-improving, and well run, year in and year out. We attract busy people who do not have time to waste, yet want to make significant differences in their community, not just people in search of another meeting to go to.