RRCF issues round two grants

Milaca Fine Arts Council’s Mimi Peterson and Rum River Community Foundation board member Ardy Becklin chat with guests at the foundation’s annual grants banquet. Last Saturday, April 6, RRCF awarded three local organizations grants ranging from $500 to $1,000.

Milaca Fine Arts Council’s Mimi Peterson and Rum River Community Foundation board member Ardy Becklin chat with guests at the foundation’s annual grants banquet. Last Saturday, April 6, RRCF awarded three local organizations grants ranging from $500 to $1,000.

Three local organizations are a little better off financially thanks to another round of grants issued by the Rum River Community Foundation. Holiday Helping Hands, the Milaca Arts Center and Community Education’s Give Me 5  mentor program received $500, $500 and $1,000 grants, respectively, at a banquet this past Saturday at Stones Throw Golf Course in Milaca.

Mimi Peterson of the Milaca Fine Arts Council said that $500 will be put to use at the Student Art Show from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11. The show features artwork from 150 Milaca and area students.

“Last year, we had over 400 people in two hours,” Peterson said about the show. “It was crazy.”

The overwhelming popularity of the event has inspired Peterson and other organizers to keep the student showcase growing. The grant will help purchase award ribbons, matting and labeling for the displays and “lots and lots of tape,” Peterson said.

“I’ve also ordered 400 cookies from Teals, so it will help pay for that, too,” she said.
Give Me 5 Director Kathy Fitschen said she regrets not being able to attend the banquet Saturday, but the $1,000 awarded to her organization will provide a summer full of programming for her students.

“We’re really thrilled to be chosen because we’ve been looking for funding,” Fitschen said. “It usually takes a couple of grants to do what we do.”

The RRCF grant will help Give Me 5 mentors take students on several trips this summer, including a planned visit to the Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls.

“If it weren’t for this money, we probably wouldn’t have any trips this summer,” she said. “And that’s the best time for bonding between mentors and students.”

The grant will also help fund programming in June, July and August for Give Me 5 students enrolled in summer school.

“It’s much needed and much appreciated,” Fitschen said. “It involves our local community, which I think is best.”

For the full story, see the Thursday, April 11 print edition of the Times.

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