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More than half million in grant dollars approved

Foundation Now Much Larger Supporter of Area Nonprofits

Willmar, Minn. – The Willmar Area Community Foundation (WACF) has announced approval of grants totaling $579,225 to 17 nonprofit organizations in Kandiyohi County.  The Foundation’s Board of Directors met on April 17 to approve the awards, which range in size from $3,000 to $250,000.

“It is with great delight and a sense of privilege and duty that the Foundation makes these awards,” said Foundation Board Chair John Lindstrom, a resident of Lake Andrew Township in Kandiyohi County.  “The Foundation has been blessed to receive extraordinary gifts from people who care deeply about their communities,” said Lindstrom, “and the Board takes very seriously its stewardship mission of putting those funds to work in the most effective ways possible.”

The Willmar Area Community Foundation is celebrating its 15th anniversary.  A little over a year ago the Foundation’s assets were roughly doubled through a $6.4 million gift from the estate of Alice B. Cox, who was married to Joe Cox – the inventor of the chain for chainsaws.  “Alice was a Lake Lillian native and during her last years a Willmar resident,” said Foundation Executive Director Dean Anderson.  “She called our Willmar area The Heartland of America, and that’s where her heart was.  So now our Foundation is carrying her legacy forward along with the legacies of our other wonderful donors.”

The following organizations were approved for awards: • Atwater Cosmos Grove City School District, Atwater, MN, $10,000 for pre-school and elementary education programs. • Faith Lutheran Church, Spicer, MN, $10,000 for The Link program serving low-income persons in Spicer and New London, MN. • Goodwill/Easter Seals of Minnesota, Willmar, MN, $6,000 for its medical equipment loan program. • Heartland Community Action Agency, Willmar, MN, $10,000 for Safe Harbor program, Helping People Get There program, and for Cultural Liaison and Outreach project. • Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA, Willmar, MN, $250,000 (in multi-year payments) for capital expansion. • Let’s Go Fishing, Willmar, MN,  $3,000 for program. • New Minnesotan Community Development Center, Willmar, MN, $25,000 for youth enrichment, program to engage elders, and diversity training and outreach to better integrate new Africans. • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, St. Paul, MN, $5,000 for project of training for nonprofit boards in Kandiyohi County. • PC’s for People, Willmar, MN, $3,000 for program refurbishing and donating computers to low-income individuals. • Rice Health Foundation, Willmar, MN, $200,000 (in multi-year payments) for Rice Care Center senior care capital project. • Rice Memorial Hospital, Willmar, MN, $5,000 for pregnancy education for teens. • Safe Avenues, Willmar, MN, $17,000 for organization development planning and for Harmony Visitation Center. • United Way of West Central Minnesota, Willmar, MN, $10,000 for Growmobile reading program for kids, Imagination Library, and Gifts In Kind program. • West Central Industries, Willmar, MN, $5,000 for food for Meals on Wheels. • Willmar Area Arts Council, Willmar, MN, $5,225 for art education outreach and for the Prairie Winds Concert Band. • Willmar Community Education and Recreation, Willmar, MN, $10,000 for Children’s Cabinet project to coordinate area child services. • Willmar Public Schools, Willmar, MN, $5,000 for Healthy Learners Program.

The next Grant Deadline is August 15, 2013.  For more information on grants, please email

The Willmar Area Community Foundation is governed by a 15-member volunteer board representing communities throughout Kandiyohi County.  The Foundation’s stated mission is: The Willmar Area Community Foundation seeks to attract and distribute charitable funds in efforts that enhance the quality of life of residents in our area.

The Willmar Area Community Foundation is a public charity that attracts and administers charitable funds for the benefit of the local community.  The Foundation is affiliated with the Central Minnesota Community Foundation, which administers more than 550 funds totaling more than $80 million. Learn more at

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