The Lanesboro Area Community Foundation (LACF) has been working with several other Lanesboro organizations to provide an electronic information sign for the city of Lanesboro and soon the sign will be installed.
According to Louise Wolfgramm with the LACF “the need for a sign to communicate school information and events was identified by the local Lions Club” and she states “LACF saw an opportunity to partner with the Lions and expand the signs purpose to include community events as well” which could give more information to a greater number of people in the city.
The cost of the electronic sign is $20,000 which was raised by several organizations coming together for a common cause.
“Commitments to fund the sign were made by the Lions, LACF, the Fire Department, the American Legion, the EDA and the Lanesboro Public Schools,” as well as in-kind donors says Wolfgramm.
A grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) was also awarded as “they made $10,000 available to each of the community foundations that they sponsor, in celebration of their 30th anniversary,” explains Wolfgramm.
“The criteria for receiving one of these grants was that the project had to benefit the whole community and it needed to be collaborative with other organizations” she notes.
The ever-philanthropic Kelly Printing and Signs will be providing the sign at their cost and the LACF anticipates other in-kind contributions from Norse Valley Construction and Huntington Electric as well as others.
The sign is to be located on school grounds and will face Parkway Avenue. The approximate date of installation is June 15, 2017.
“Information on the sign will be school and community events. School information would include academic, cultural and athletic events. Community information would include any information that would benefit the whole community and announce events that are open to the public” states Wolfgramm.
“The school will operate and maintain the sign” notes Wolfgramm.
“SMIF makes investments for economic growth in 20 southern Minnesota counties. In addition to providing fiduciary agency, asset management and technical support for the community foundations, SMIF is a catalyst for economic growth through $5 million in annual awards for programming, loans and grants. Focus areas for SMIF are entrepreneur development and early childhood development” states Wolfgramm.
“The idea of a community foundation for Lanesboro came from Lanesboro resident, LuAnn Wilcox, who was aware that other SE MN communities had foundations, but Lanesboro did not. she approached the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation for assistance in getting a foundation started in Lanesboro” which got the ball rolling for the establishment of the LACF.
“SMIF hosted a community meeting in Lanesboro in early 2015 to explain how a community foundation could benefit Lanesboro and how SMIF would help. That first meeting brought approximately 40 community members together. Following the first meeting several people met “a number of times” to decide how to move forward” states Wolfgramm.
Wolfgramm and Barb Schramm “agreed to reach out to a cross section of the community to assess how a foundation would fit into Lanesboro,” explains Wolfgramm.
“We interviewed about 25 people and found great support for the idea of a foundation that would focus on the needs of the residents” of Lanesboro, says Wolfgramm.
Those interviews proved vital as Wolfgramm states “in our survey of the community we found agreement that the arts community has strong support and the civic focus on tourism is strong and creative. We heard that a foundation to help build and sustain a vital and healthy community for the children, families and seniors who live in Lanesboro is desired” by those who shared their opinions.
The Lanesboro Area Community Foundation held its first board meeting in May 2016. At that meeting five founding members were elected including Louise Wolfgramm, Chair; Amanda Larsen, Vice-Chair, Barb Schramm, Secretary; Jim Haugen, Treasurer; and Walter Bradley.
Over the last year Amanda Larsen has completed her one year term and additional board members have been added including Rick Darling, Ken Graner, Linda Johnson, Brett Clarke, Caleb-Lauritsen-Norby and Duane Bakke.
“We have raised $9,625 to begin our endowment fund and $3,131 for our general operating fund” states Wolfgramm.
The Mission Statement of the Lanesboro Area Community Foundation is “to be a good neighbor by investing in the vitality of the people and community of Lanesboro” and “we will accomplish our mission through flexible, inclusive and innovative investments that meet community needs and advance community health and vitality,” adds Wolfgramm.
“Our core values are to ‘Be a good neighbor’, ‘Build Connections’ and to ‘Pay it forward’ and create a healthy future,” states Wolfgramm.
“We envision that, in 2021 LACF will be known as a good neighbor, engaged community partner and an accessible community resource that makes a real and positive difference in the lives of Lanesboro community members and the community as a whole” says Wolfgramm.
Donations to the LACF are tax deductible and the money stays in your own community. If you know of a community need or project that would improve the City of Lanesboro contact one of the board members.