The Owatonna Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of two grants recently approved by the Foundation’s’ Grants Committee and Board of Trustees. Incorporated in 1957, the Foundation has served the Owatonna community for 59 years, providing over $11.75 million dollars in financial support to meet the ever-changing needs of the community. The Foundation makes grants for capital purchases and improvements in the following categories: Community – with projects that have an impact on the quality of life of the people of Owatonna, and the parks and places they use and enjoy. Arts – with projects that support the fine arts, both visual and musical, and encouraging a diverse cultural environment. Recreation – with projects that help improve the recreational opportunities of Owatonna, offering all ages a recreational outlet throughout the year. Education – with scholarships and improvements promoting education and preserving the history of Owatonna. The Foundation provides up to $30,000 annually for both traditional and non-traditional scholarships for youth and adults that are residents of, or work in, Owatonna.
A total of $56,097.00 dollars in grants were awarded as follows: $6,097.00 to the Steele County Agricultural Society (SCFF) for an upgrade to the HVAC system of the Muckle Building and Museum. The addition of air conditioning to the museum will help to preserve the many important historic artifacts kept in the building and will also offer a respite for the volunteers that help before and during the Fair. $50,000 was awarded to the Four Seasons Centre to partially fund the purchase of a new electric Zamboni ice machine. New regulations requiring improved air quality meant that the Centre has to transition from gas powered machines to electric. Due to high demand there is a one year waiting time for the electric machines to be manufactured so it is likely it will not make its debut until late 2018 or early 2019.
“Each year we look forward to the time when grant submissions are presented to us. The two grants that were recently awarded will enhance Owatonna and provide the recipients with much needed assistance for them to complete their projects. One of the considerations of the Grants Committee is if the projects that are being presented have financial support from alternative entities other than just the Foundation. These two grants that were awarded had support not only from the Owatonna Foundation, but also the support of the public and their own organizations. We are proud to be a part of so many worthwhile projects that will benefit our community now and in the future.” said Steve Smith, Chair of the Foundation’s Grants Committee.
The Foundation encourages 501(C3) non-profit organizations in Owatonna and its environs to apply for grants. The criteria are outlined on the Foundation’s website: www.owatonnafoundation.org. The next grant deadline is September 1, 2017.
Recently, Foundation Trustees paid a visit to the Wee Pals Child Care Center located at West Hills to see a completed project that the Foundation had previously given a grant to. Due to changes in health regulations Wee Pals needed to remodel its kitchen facilities. The kitchen now features improved storage, a three compartment sink, wash stations, new ventilation, and a commercial stove. “One of the great pleasures of serving as a Foundation Trustee is seeing worthy projects come to fruition. We were thrilled to see the Wee Pals project completed. It was a wonderful collaborative effort, with great support and help from their contractor, Rocon, Inc., our Trustee Denny Meillier who offered guidance, and Wee Pals Executive Director, Marilee Pfarr, whose passion for serving her clients and their children made this a true labor of love.” said Foundation President, Betsy Lindgren.
Pictured below are left to right: Trustees Betsy Lindgren, Denny Meillier, Julie Rethemeier and Dale Gandrud and Wee Pals Director: Marilee Pfarr