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Northwest Minnesota Foundation Awards for Excellence and Philanthropy Quality of Place Award Mattracks Inc., Matt Brazier, Diane Blair, Glen Brazier, Dean’s Westberg

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n celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation held its annual dinner in Crookston at the Northland Inn on April 27. Nearly 240 people attended the event, which included a presentation highlighting the major accomplishments, essential partners, past board members and numerous people who have been NMF award recipients through the years. Diane Blair, NMF board chair, delivered the keynote message. After reminding the group about events that occurred 20 years ago, including the grants that established the Minnesota Initiative Foundations, Blair said, “It’s been twenty years since The McKnight Foundation started to reach out to northwest Minnesota. There have been many changes in those twenty years and many things will change in the next twenty years.” She added, “However, I know that there will be at least one constant…the Northwest Minnesota Foundation will continue to lead and invest in our region. I know that because of people like each of you here tonight. You believe in our region and in the foundation. You have invested time, energy and resources and because of you, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation will continue its work in this region.” As the foundation enters its 21st year, the strategy for programs and development has focused on Quality of Place. Rural economies can no longer rely solely on their

SUMMER 2006 NUMBER 39

INSIDE: Foundation Awards Dinner....1,3,

natural resource base for their future. To succeed, rural areas need to be able to attract and retain knowledge workers. These people likely choose to live in attractive communities that offer the amenities they desire. Following along these lines, NMF has created a new award, named the Quality of Place award. The purpose is to recognize partners, grantees, training participants, and loan clients who have helped to develop community assets. Through their work, they enhance the quality of places in the region. The recipient receives a specially designed plaque and selects a nonprofit in our region to receive a $1,000 grant.

Message From The President..........2 WNET.......................2 Grant Activity..........4 Philanthropic Services..................5 Grants..................6,7 Business Development..........7 Upcoming Events.....................8

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Community Philanthropy Award Laporte Education Fund: Darryl Bessler, Cleo Johannsen, Nancy Booth, John Seegmiller, Mary Butzier, Mark Hewitt.

4225 Technology Drive NW --Bemidji, MN 56601 --218-759-2057 800-659-7859 www.nwmf.org


A Message Message from from the the President President A John S. Ostrem

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation invests resources, creates opportunities and promotes philanthropy to make the region a better place to live and work.

Spring is the time of graduations and commencement speeches. Over the years, I have enjoyed many ceremonies and been inspired by the thoughtful messages presented by the speakers. This month, I heard a commencement message, delivered by Professor W.H. Knight, Jr., dean of the University of Washington School of Law, which made me think about my own values as well as our work at the foundation. His advice to the graduating class was “create more value in this world than you consume.” Professor Knight went on to encourage the law school graduates to use their new knowledge and skills as volunteers, to enhance their communities, to be advocates for the less fortunate, and to exercise their profession in an ethical manner, in order to make the world a better place.

Diane Blair Chair East Grand Forks

I think this is good advice, not only for young professionals, but for all of us. Maybe we should be a little less concerned with our own “needs” and more focused on needs of others in our communities and the world. Perhaps we should seek out more opportunities to share our time, our wealth, and our skills in order to “create more value” in the places we live and work. The foundation has many ways to help people in these efforts, whether it is providing leadership or non-profit board training, grant making, supporting component fund advisory committees, or in setting philanthropic goals. Please contact us if you would like to find ways to contribute back to your community.

Anne Sand Vice Chair Bemidji

Women’s Entrepreneurial Network Programs

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Gary Purath Secretary Red Lake Falls Dean Johnson Treasurer Mahnomen Terri Anderson Rothschadl Waubun

WNET

Roseau and Warroad business women have been meeting for the past five years under the name of WNET, which is pronounced “We Net,” representing Women’s Network for Entrepreneurial Training.

Carolyn Eeg Greenbush

Another special project WNET has taken on is Diva Day. This well-attended event is held in Roseau during the deer hunting opener and in Warroad each spring. The day is about pampering women and giving both retail and home-based businesses an opportunity to market themselves.

David Bergman Thief River Falls Eric Bergeson Fertile Mark Hewitt Park Rapids Roger Malm Hallock Kim Wilson Fosston Ann Beck Bagley

Twice each year, WNET sponsors training programs that are open to all area retail and home-based businesses. They have been working with the local chamber of commerce groups, which has increased their credibility and helped cover expenses for professional speakers.

This group, originated by the Minnesota Women’s Business Center, was turned over to the Entrepreneur Development Program at NMF and is a great extension of what it offers. Women now meet monthly to discuss solutions to small business problems. 2

NMF has helped WNET with sponsorship of two recent trainings – Small Business Success Strategies and Retail Trade Analysis. Nearly 20 business owners participated in the highly-evaluated workshops.


2006 Celebration Dinner

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Excellence in Leadership Award: Deb Boardman, Jo Bittner, Joy Johnson, Carolyn Eng

This year, Mattracks, Incorporated of Karlstad received the first-ever Quality of Place Award. Glen Brazier created Mattracks Inc. in Karlstad, where the technologically advanced, independent rubber track systems are manufactured. NMF has been able to assist the company over the years with financing and is proud to have supported a thriving, successful venture that demonstrates how opportunities are created to enhance the quality of the places in the region – with the help of entrepreneurial partners. Also presented was the first ever Community Philanthropy Award. This award was created to recognize the NMF component or community fund that has helped to build and strengthen the culture of philanthropy in the region. Along with an original sculpture award for display, the fund’s endowment received a $1,000 donation from NMF. The fund receiving the award has shown substantial growth. The fund advisory committee is a cohesive group that meets regularly, promotes the fund and the culture of philanthropy in their community. They have worked hard to achieve the mission and goals of the fund. This year’s recipient was the Laporte Education Endowment Fund, which was established in 1998 to provide financial support for activities, projects or services designed to benefit students, staff and educational programs. Continuing with a thirteen year tradition, Ruth Edevold Awards for Excellence were presented. This year’s recipients have worked toward making northwest Minnesota a better place to live and work. To honor their achievements, recipients select a nonprofit in the region to receive an unrestricted grant from the foundation for $1,000. The Excellence in Leadership Award is

given to an individual who has participated in the foundation’s Leadership Development training or the Nonprofit Excellence programs, and then returned to their job, their volunteer activities and their community, actively using the skills they learned. This year’s recipient is Jo Bittner. Bittner is the director of Polk County DAC, where she has been employed since 1985. She became the executive director in 1993 and operates one of the most successful, innovative DACs in Minnesota. She is currently serving on the Riverview Health board of directors and is a member of their Budget and Operations committee.  The Organizational Excellence Award is given to an organization or agency whose staff or board members have attended a foundation sponsored training program, the Nonprofit Excellence Program or received a grant from the foundation and as a result, made changes to significantly improve the effectiveness of their organization and/or services to the people of the region. This year’s recipient was INFOCON. The United Northwest Minnesota INFOCON is comprised of three public school districts and eight private schools in northwestern Minnesota. Their mission is to provide a forum for sharing information and developing human and financial resources to build and maximize the use of technology in member schools. Father Tim Bushy, who is the coordinator for INFOCON, has participated in many of the foundation’s training opportunities, including Leadership Development, grant seeking and the Organizational Effectiveness Program workshops. His passion and drive to find resources for this program have been an asset to the region’s schools and enhancing the use of technology in education.

Organizational Excellence Award: INFOCON: Father Tim Bushy, Nancy Newcomb, Geraldine Cyr, Al Foley and Gary Purath. 3

“...we should seek out more opportunities to share our time, our wealth, and our skills in order to ‘create more value’ in the places we live and work.” JOHN OSTREM NMF President


Recent NMF Grant Activity Invests Resources to Enhance

Quality of Place County area. NICE offers outreach, home care nursing services, and respite care to seniors, using volunteers from local churches. Recently, they added respite care for children and families. A grant for $25,000 was awarded in May for the Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Project, which will provide a friendly, safe and nurturing environment for children and their parents who desire or need supervised visitation and for children making a transition between custodial parents. The NICE grant project covers many aspects of enhancing the social assets of people and organizations. As a joint venture in delivery of services to children and the elderly, it will improve the chances for reducing conflict for families in crisis in a preventative manner. Another grant was awarded in April that promotes the sustainable use and preservation of the natural resource base. The International Water Institute Center for Watershed Education – Tri-College University received $25,000 to conduct a Watershed Watch project along the Red Lake River corridor. This project will enhance the existing River Watch program in northwest Minnesota, which works to involve the community in the management of the Red Lake River, educates about the health of the watershed and community viability, plans for quality assurance, and devises a certification process for all River Watch students and teachers.

Following a mock car accident involving teens and alcohol, a student is given a breathalyzer test.

“I know that there will be one constant... the Northwest Minnesota Foundation will continue to lead and invest in our region.” DIANE BLAIR NMF board chair

“Including parents in the planning, focus groups and implementation [of the TGFD program] is expected to result in greater cooperation and awareness within the community.” SUE SHOLES WAO school district social worker

The dramatic presentation was made by law enforcement officials to the student body.

As part of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation’s mission and program activity, grant making plays a major part in developing the assets in communities. Substantial funding has recently been approved for community planning, youth and senior programs, and protecting and preserving our natural resources. In April, a $25,000 Caring Communities Program grant was awarded to the Warren Alvarado Oslo School District for the project Too Good For Drugs (TGFD), which will expand and enhance a prevention program into the community. TGFD programming attempts to change the prevailing attitude that drug and alcohol experimentation is a normal part of teenagers’ lives. It corrects common misconceptions about the acceptability of alcohol and drug use, establishing a positive climate free of drugs and violence. Sue Sholes, the district’s social worker, said that including parents in the planning, focus groups, and implementation is expected to result in greater cooperation and awareness within the community. “Teachers are also supportive and will present themselves as good role models for students,” Sholes said. This type of grant helps NMF to target its resources for preventing at-risk behaviors among children and adolescents, and works to enhance the social assets of people and organizations in the region. Northwoods Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers (NICE) was formed in Bemidji to respond to the needs of senior citizens in the Beltrami

Students from Win-E-Mac and Warren Alvarado Oslo schools participated in River Watch activities.

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Philanthropic Services The Circle of Vision

was established to recognize those people who see the possibilities of tomorrow by acting today; who believe in their communities, and; who say “yes” when asked to share of themselves and their resources. This award is presented in recognition of current gifts, irrevocable planned gifts or publicly announced will bequests of $100,000 or more made by individuals, families, organizations or businesses in direct support of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation or any of its component funds.

CIRCLE OF VISION AWARDS Sam and Peg Johnson John Ostrem, Keith Okeson

2006 Circle of Vision Recipients SAM & PEG JOHNSON Peg Johnson was encouraged by a former foundation Board Chair to serve on the Warroad Education Fund advisory committee in 1997. Working with that group, she became an advocate for endowment gifts and philanthropic support for education, which continued with her work during the floods in 2002. This led to serving on the Warroad Area Community Fund advisory committee.

to the general endowment of the Community Fund. What a great example of the power of philanthropy! Maggi Adams and the Roseau Area Hospital and Homes Health Care Fund. Maggi left a legacy of art and stories to her community and a large will bequest to Mayo Clinic and Roseau Area Hospital. The Roseau Hospital District received over half of $1 million designated for medical and hospital equipment, along with pieces of her original artwork. (Maggi’s story appeared in the Summer 2005 edition of Resource.)

In 2005, the Marvins were reviewing their personal financial and estate goals. Consulting with NMF staff, they decided to work through the Warroad Area Community Fund to help make a difference in their community and continue active involvement in making donations to a variety of local and regional nonprofits. These included $100,000 to the cummunity fund general endowment, $380,000 to establish the Johnson Family Charitable Fund, and $20,000 to support NMF’s Education and Leadership Endowment.

The Resource Hospital District board established a special endowment of $235,000 from Maggi’s bequest for a Medical Equipment Fund, that will provide direct financial support for medical equipment and other related purposes, using only the earnings from this generous gift. Please know that your donations to the foundation or any of its component funds are making a difference for the quality of the places in northwest Minnesota – making the region a better place to live and work.

As a result of these gifts, the Warroad Area Community Fund completed its match challenge, with NMF contribution a match of $48,000

NMF Grant Activity

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NMF, investing resources that make the region The institute will provide overall direction to a better place to live and work. Developing coordinate the project in northwest Minnesota. greater citizen engagement within river-based Protecting natural assets through this grant watersheds forges the relationship between all involves collaboration between local, regional parties, helping to ensure future success. and state organizations, all working with the 5

PAST CIRCLE OF VISION RECIPIENTS Bill & Jessie Baer Courage North/ Hellecksons Francis Drivold Lyle H. Engelstad Robert F. & Marian Foley Gaylord A. Gunderson Mark & Peggy Hewitt Leonard & Rosemond Kucera Arnold F. Lund, Sr. Eldor & Stella Omdahl Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians Elsie Semrau TEAM Industries/ TEAM Foundation LuVerne Trogstad Ole & Ruth Tweed Circle of Vision Leadership Society Arnold F. Lund, Sr.


Grants Grants totaling $300,748 were awarded from Apr.-June 2006 Caring Communities Grants Total: $47,500

Bemidji Area Arts Endowment & Project Fund............................................. $2,500 To Bemidji Symphony Orchestra for the Northern Lights concert.

Children & Families Minnesota D.A.R.E., Inc.......................... $2,500 Sponsorship of the methamphetamine-marijuana training in the Bemidji area.

Everett Wilimek Endowment for Violin Studies.............................................$500 For violin lessons

Northwoods Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers ...............................$20,000 To provide a friendly, safe, and nurturing environment for children and their parents who require supervised visitation or transition between custodial parents.

Bemidji Area Early Childhood Initiative Fund...................................................$795 For Families Growing Together Early Childhood Event Bemidji Lumberjack Foundation Fund All School Reunion Fund....................$5,008 For the All School Reunion Grants. General Scholarship Fund....................$500

Warren-Alvarado-Oslo School Dist# 2176....................................$25,000 To implement a prevention program targeting at-risk behaviors and mental health issues.

Bridges Therapy and Rehabilitation Fund......................................$8,240 For Solaris Light Therapy and Sympathetic Therapy Units.

Natural Resources Grants Total: $25,500

Clearwater Health Care Fund.......................$162 For Cancer Screening/Educational Videos

Promotion & Preservation International Water Institute..................$25,000 To develop a community Watershed Watch model by building on the existing River Watch program.

CHS Cancer Screening Fund..........................$99 For Cancer Screening/Educational Videos. CHS Hospice Family Room Project Fund.................................................$15,000 For the Hospice Family Room at CCMH

University of Minnesota - Crookston........$500 For an international conference on sustainable development.

CHS Hospice Fund..........................................$450 For Hospice Wheelchair

Community Planning Grants Total: $27,500

Crookston Early Childhood Initiative Fund................................................$3,000 For expenses

Economic & Community Development Center For Reducing Rural Violence.....$2,500

Fosston Education Foundation Endowment Fund..........................................$3,900 For five varied projects and activities that benefit students.

For City of Blackduck rural violence needs assessment. Blackduck Community Stewardship Initiative............................................ $25,000 For a community plan for progress in building a better Blackduck area

HRDC Leadership Fund HRDC Successful Communities Challenge Fund ...............................................................$8,750 For the Blackduck Community Stewardship Initiative.

Component Fund Grants Total: $200,248

Kelliher Area Health Care Fund...............$5,000 For Kelliher Clinic.

Bagley Early Childhood Initiative Fund............................................... $6,000 For Child Passenger Safety Training, Parent WarmLine, and expenses.

Kittson Memorial Healthcare Center Fund....................................................$1,378 For Nursing Home equipment. Lake of the Woods Area Industrial Development Fund..................................... $30,000 For Economic Development director salary.

Bagley Education Endowment & Project Fund Bagley General Scholarship Fund..............$100 Beltrami Humane Society.............................$260 For facility expenses.

Lake of the Woods Early Childhood Initiative Fund................................................$1,000 For expenses.

Ralph and Ruth Shoemate Fund...............$2,358 For facility expenses.

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Grants

(continued from page 6) Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians Community Fund Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians Recovery & Renewal Fund.................... $31,898 For the Native Youth Conference. Youth Initiative Fund.............................. $16,901 For the Native Youth Conference. Roseau Area Community Fund ............ $1,000 For Roseau Library Fireplace; for Pocket Park (2). Roseau County Historical Society Endowment Fund........................................$5,817 For Museum Services Equipment.

Leonard J. Kucera Memorial Scholarship Fund.......................................... $1,000 Mahnomen Area Community Fund........... $4,011 Mahnomen Area Flood Recovery Fund For Mahnomen inflow and infiltration improvements. Marshall County Early Childhood Initiative Fund.................................................................. $8,840 For ECI projects. Northwest Minnesota Women’s Fund ..... $7,000 For League of Women Voters Seminar-Leaders of Today and Tomorrow; for Enrichment Activities for 5th-8th Grade Girls; for Kids Support Services: for Young Parent Plus programming; for Family Caregiver Educational Workshops; for Court Monitoring; for the Roseau Go Red Campaign. (7)

Ruth Edevold Endowment for Excellence Ruth Edevold Awards for Excellence ...$4,000 For Mattracks, Quality of Place Award; for Laporte Ed. Endowment & Project Fund, Communtiy Philanthropy Award; for Polk County DAC, Riverview Healthcare Assn., Excellence in Leadership Award; INFOCON, Organizational Excellence Award (5).

Park Rapids Area Community Fund Hewitt Family Charitable Fund ................ $3,000 For Kinship of the Park Rapids Area and community playground (2).

Warren Senior Center Endowment Fund...........................................$2,000 For kitchen equipment.

Park Rapids Early Childhood Initiative Fund.............................................. $10,825 For community playground.

Warroad Area Community Fund NAPA Ride to Reading Fund...................$5,956 For Warroad Elementary and Middle School library books.

Business Development Activity Business Loans Two loans were recently made from the Revolving Loan Fund totaling $220,000:

Four loans were recently made totaling $72,339.

Sun-flowers, Ada CellTech of Fosston Laporte Grocery Big Bear Sealcoating and Striping, Wilton G & G Enterprises, East Grand Forks Technical Assistance Two businesses from Bemidji and St. Vincent received $690 in outside consulting for management and technical assistance. Shots and Thoughts, Crookston Music Box Productions, Bemidji

Ceres Equipment Inc., Roseau To finance inventory, equipment and business assets relative to the purchase and operation of the Roseau Farm Supply and Ace Hardware. Sun-flowers, Ada To purchase H&R Floral, an existing business.

Microloans Business counseling and loans are available to help entrepreneurs develop small business and self-employment opportunities.

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NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. Postage PAID Bemidji, MN 56601 Permit No. 36

4225 Technology Drive NW Bemidji, MN 56601 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Upcoming Events Organizational Excellence Program Update: Workshops will start again in fall 2006.

Leadership Development Update: NMF has initiated a process to improve its longstanding adult leadership program and make it even more responsive to the needs of the region. For the past 18 years, NMF has offered Leadership I to northwest Minnesota residents. Five years ago, Leadership II was included to help alumni to further develop leadership skills. Staff and board have met to establish guidelines and criteria for updating this well respected program. Six focus groups have met in NMF’s service area communities for regionwide assessment and for gathering feedback. Information gathered at these meetings will guide the design and structure of the adult leadership program as NMF enters its third decade of service. New leadership workshops will be premiered in the fall of 2007.

Have a Safe and Enjoyable Summer... Drive Carefully!

~ Northwest Minnesota Foundation ~ www.nwmf.org ~ CONTACT US: 218-759-2057 ~ 800-659-7859 ~ FAX 218-759-2328 ~ nwmf@nwmf.org

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