The Plainview Area Foundation Board of Directors includes, sitting L to R: Paula Lewis, Kent Harrington (Chairman), and Donna Christison; Back Row L to R: Brent Wohlers, Ken Zarling, Chuck Coggins, Dick Zabel, and Merlin Bratberg.  Also on the Board and not present are Gary Kuphal and Steve Jack.  Ph

Having an overwhelmingly positive impact on our community

Plainview Area Foundation administers grants

What a great way to start the New Year ~ awarding grants that assist our local organizations that make our community a better place to live.  That is just what the Plainview Area Foundation (PAF) did last Wednesday at City Hall.  Thirteen grants totaling $12,647.50 were distributed to various local and county organizations, as well as to various classroom projects in the PEM School District.
The Mission of the PAF is to serve the people of Plainview, Minnesota, and the surrounding areas by supporting programs and projects that improve the quality of life and build a stronger community.  
For over 150 years people in Plainview have helped their friends and neighbors by investing in projects that improve the quality of life in the community.  The Plainview Area Foundation continues that tradition of community-building by offering individuals, families, businesses, corporations and service clubs a way to help others through organized giving.
Requests for funding are considered on an ongoing basis.  The ten member Board typically meets on a quarterly basis, and more if needed.  PAF administers grants from two funds: General Fund and School Fund.  The Board also conducts fundraising events throughout the year.
Gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Community members, businesses and service organizations may make outright donations in the form of cash, real estate and securities. The Foundation also has a Deferred Giving Program through which bequests, life insurance and trusts with charitable provisions may be donated. If a donor wants to give a gift for a special purpose, the Foundation can create a separate program. Gifts that honor an individual or commemorate a special occasion, and memorials that honor a deceased loved one are examples of special purpose giving.  If you need more information about or would like to donate to the PAF, any Board member may be contacted or visit their website
Board Chair Kent Harrington began by thanking each volunteer present, “The volunteers in this community never ceases to amaze.  We have such a wonderful community because of you!”  The first grants were awarded from the School Fund.
The first grant to be awarded was a school grant for $1,500 for the 8th Grade field trip to see the Anne Frank Play at the Park Square Theater in St. Paul Park.  Accepting the grant was Angie Matiash, who told the Board that this particular trip had previously been funded by an integration grant.  “The students first read the book, and then have the opportunity to experience it by attending the play,” she said.  The students have a great sense of pride representing the school and dressing up for the occasion.   
Angie Matiash also accepted the next grant of $1,000 for the 7th and 8th grade Courage Retreat.  This event is focused on students with the end goal taking pride in themselves.  The day is spent at a local Church (Peace United Methodist) with 1/3 of the day spent in activities getting comfortable with one another, and the culminating activity is called ‘Pebble in the Pond’ where the students share something about themselves in front of all their peers.
Next up was Mike Besse, PEM teacher for 22 years.  The grant for $1,200 he accepted was for the 5th grade trip to the Science Museum.  For eyars, this trip was funded through diversity grants.  The science, culture and hands on activities which students experience is an amazing opportunity for them to grow and learn.  The Omni Theater is a big hit.  Besse commented that he tries to explain the Omni Theater to students, but to see them marvel in the experience is simply amazing.
Mr. Mark Melcher accepted a grant for $472.50 on behalf of the 6th grade Ordway Theater trip.  Students learn a great deal as they are attentive to the live performance.  This is also a great tool because the very formal setting has students dressing up, and learning social skills as well.
The PEM School Readiness program was represented by Vanessa Sagdalen and  Julie Liebenow.  This grant of $640 will be used for their summer camp which gives an extra boost for preschoolers that need financial assistance to attend both summer sessions.
accepted on behalf of Denine Voegli, 8th grade JH Science teacher.  The grant of $500 will be used to bring in “Explore A Dome” to give students the opportunity to view astronomy up close and personal.  This is a vital component to her Astronomy unit.
Katie Pepin and Lori Nienow were present to accept a grant of $1,000 for Prairie Fire Theater.  This is a six day camp with over 50 students in attendance.  The first day the students audition for parts in the play and the remainder of the week they practice with a culmination of two performances for the community, family and friends.  “This is a wonderful summer experience for our local children,” Katie commented.
Mark Melcher, a 4-8 special education instructor then accepted a grant for the Special Education Department.  The grant of $600 will assist him in the purchase of a variety of equipment which will help build social skills into the curriculum.
Moving on to General Fund grant presentations, the Community Center received a grant in the amount of $1,050 for roof repairs, but no one was present to accept.  SEMCAC Senior Dining program also received a grant for $1,000 but no one was present to accept it.
Gene Diel accepted a check for $1,000 on behalf of Faith in Action.  This community based program assists those in need of rides to appointments.  Last year, volunteer drivers drove 38,000 miles taking individuals to their appointments.  Whether it was doctor appointments or otherwise, the commitment of time from volunteers was also recognized.  
“It’s truly an honor to be amongst all of you (Board members) and grant recipients,”  Sherrie Decker said thanking the PAF Board for their continuous support of Brighter Tomorrows.  She explained that the grant of $500 will help provide financial help to families who have children with cancer.  Their organization provides baskets, gift cards, and other necessities to the families.  The planned retreat at Ironwood Springs every year is something that the families really look forward to and bond together at.  They have now begun a second retreat, “Tomorrow’s Chapter’ for those families who have children that have died from cancer.  “Plainview really rallies  to take care of their own, unlike some other cities,” Sherrie commented.
The Plainview-Elgin Area Food Shelf received a grant for $1,000.  Kay Rasmusssen and Board Chair Patty Richter were present to accept the grant.  Kay thanked the Board for the many years of their support.  She also said that their clients, as well as other low income people, had a great Christmas recieveing goody bags, gift cards, and even some toys.  They distributed 6,000 pounds of food at Christmas and are now looking at restocking their shelves.
Steve Kohls from the Wabasha County DAC told the Board they appreciated the past and present support to bring the latest technology to their clients.  “Those items have produced great results,” he commented.  With the grant of $535, they are now looking at the purchase of an iPad with dyna-box to help clients with speaking disabilities communicate.
Meg Curtiss and Youlanda Loechler were present on behalf of the Plainview Public Library.  The grant of $650 will assist them in bringing a Lego Club to the Public Library.  With literacy and Lego’s going hand in hand she witnessed the collaborative work between kids with diverse backgrounds create elaborate structures together.  
Kent Harrington thanked the volunteers for all that they do.  “You make the community an interesting and better place to live,” he told them.


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