October 4-10, 2020
The Owatonna Foundation will celebrate Owatonna Foundation Week October 4th through the 10th. Due to the pandemic and in consideration of the safety and well-being of everyone the activities will be virtual this year.
The week celebrates all that has been accomplished in the past 62 years through the generosity of the Owatonna community and their support of the Owatonna Foundation whose mission is: “to improve the quality of life for present and future generations by supporting Owatonna projects that focus on community, arts, recreation, and education.” “Even though we are in challenging times we are still very excited for this year’s Foundation Week. For 62 years, through the incredible generosity and vision of many civic minded citizens, businesses and organizations, the Foundation has made a positive impact on the quality of life for everyone who lives in Owatonna. From the beginning, the Foundation Trustees, alongside our local citizens, have worked to create a community that we can all be proud of. A place that will serve both the Owatonna citizens of today and be a legacy for our children and their children in the future.” said Laura Resler, Executive Director.
Established in 1957, the Owatonna Foundation has enhanced Owatonna with a focus on capital projects. Some of the projects financially supported by the Foundation have included: the Central Park Bandstand, the Parks and Trail System, Soccer Complexes, Softball Diamonds, Steele County Free Fair, Hospitality House, Owatonna Public Library, ISD #761, Homestead Hospice House, River Springs Water Park, the Steele County History Center, Owatonna Arts Center, Community Pathways, “We All Play” Miracle Field, Let’s Smile, Steele County Free Clinic, Owatonna Fire Department, and many others. Since its beginning, over 280 projects, and more than $12.2 million dollars has been given back to the community.
This year, at a private luncheon instead of the usual Legacy Lunch, the Owatonna Foundation will be honoring Jeff and Marty Fetters as the 2020 “Spirit of the Community Award” winners. For nearly 20 years, Jeff and Marty Fetters have been proudly serving the Owatonna community. And for more than 100 years, Federated Insurance — where Jeff serves as Chairman and CEO — has been intensely involved in supporting the community it calls home.
Jeff and Marty are actively involved in helping guide the next generation. In fact, they were Bigs to an 11-year-old girl through Big Brothers Big Sisters®. While their match officially closed when their Little Mackenzie turned 18, the three remain close. The Fetters’ are also leaders of the yearly fund-raising event Federated Challenge®, which has raised more than $41 million over 16 years for Big Brothers Big Sisters. During this unprecedented time, this year’s event was no exception. Jeff and Marty helped guide the event — held virtually for the first time — to a record-breaking $3,087,000. Every dollar will be donated to Minnesota’s three agencies, including Owatonna, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America®— helping create powerful mentoring relationships between Bigs and Littles.
As part of the Owatonna Forward initiative, Jeff volunteered his time as a civic steward – believing leadership alignment, community engagement, and partnerships are key to progress. Under his leadership, Federated committed $22 million to a new high school in the Owatonna community.
Federated also contributes annually to the Owatonna Foundation. And because they care deeply about the future of the community, Jeff and Marty are donors and members of the Foundation’s Legacy Society.
Jeff and Marty also count Feed My Starving Children, Community Pathways of Steele County, Owatonna Young Life, and United Way of Steele County among the list of community organizations they support.
From their gift of time to their financial contributions, the Fetters’ unwavering philanthropic efforts will continue to have a lasting impact on the Owatonna community.
Other recipients of the “Spirit of the Community Award” are:
2008: Bob & Bev Seykora
2013: The Lange Family
2014: The Buxton Family
2015: The Wenger Family
2016: The Kottke Family
2017: Jerry & Carol Deetz
2018: Ken & Norma Wilcox
2019: Jean & Edith Zamboni
Coloring Contest: Go to the Foundation’s webpage at: www.owatonnafoundation.org to download the information for our coloring contest. Draw one of the many Foundation projects shown then take a picture, post it on Facebook or Instagram (#OFoundColor) and you may win one of 50 value baskets from Culvers. Limit one per person and first come, first served.
Virtual Toast to the Foundation: Instead of the Foundation’s usual Beer and Wine Tasting this year we will be hosting a virtual toast. Get together with some friends and share a toast to the Foundation. Take a picture or selfie, post it to our Facebook or Instagram using the hash tag # OFoundToast and you will be entered into a drawing for two gift baskets sponsored by Cashwise Liquor and the Owatonna Foundation. The grand prize will be valued at $150 and the second prize will be valued at $100.
“We invite everyone to join us in a new way to celebrate the Owatonna Foundation-your Community Foundation. The Owatonna Foundation is more than granting funds to worthy projects, it’s about investing in the ideas and visions of the people in our community to ensure a better Owatonna for all of us now, and in the future.” said Executive Director, Laura Resler.
For more information, visit the Owatonna Foundation web page at www.owatonnafoundation.org., follow us on Facebook or call our office at 455-2995