NRAF recipients are pictured above. Front row, from left: Karla Christopherson, Betsy Bartness, Pam Goehring, Kathy Flor, and Stacy Lienemann. Middle row: Dave Dunnet, Laina Rajala. Back row: Kermit Schoenrock, Chad Neitzel, Anthony Martens. (Star Eagle photo by Eli Lutgens)
The New Richland Area Foundation (“NRAF”) celebrated the 2021 grant recipients at two recent community meetings. Community groups submitted 18 grant requests totaling $53,500 during the grant cycle, which ended March 31. Members of the NRAF met to consider these proposals in April and were able to provide $20,025 in funding for 13 community development projects and programs which are responsive to the changing community needs in promoting quality education, or cultural, wellness, recreational, social service, environmental, and civic opportunities.
NRHEG School projects and programs were the beneficiaries of $10,600 in funding. The following were awarded certificates at the school board meeting on May 17:
• Special Ed – $2,025 for furniture and supplies for the new EBD (Emotional and Behavior Disorder) room at the secondary building; this will support students and provide a safe and comforting space for students to de-escalate and learn
• Special Ed – $950 for social and mental health curriculum for Special Education students aged 4-10 years; students will practice, learn, and improve social competencies including self-regulation, social emotional learning, executive functioning, perspective talking, and social problem solving
• Elementary – $2,000 for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) programming for 2021-22
• 4th Grade – $450 for three fraction tile sets; each classroom will receive a permanent set of fraction tiles so students can use visuals and manipulatives to learn fractions
• Title One K-2 – $1,650 for a literacy lesson set to ensure the youngest learners have a solid literacy foundation
• Senior Class of 2021 – $500 for senior celebrations, including a class parade, a senior class trip, and graduation events
• Preschool/ECFE – $3,025 for curriculum and play center equipment to help prepare children for their first year of kindergarten
Recipients benefitting the City of New Richland were presented certificates at the city council meeting on May 24:
• City of New Richland – $4,000 for new banquet tables and chairs for the community room located in the city hall
• New Richland Police Department – $625 for sensors for the scout alarm system, a wireless system that allows the department to deploy an alarm to alert law enforcement of various conditions
• New Richland Sportsmen’s Club – $800 towards a new floating dock which will replace the current public boat access dock at St. Olaf Lake
• New Richland Garden Club – $500 for fertilizer, mulch, and new hose to maintain the public gardens on Highway 30 and at city hall
• New Richland Care Center – $2,500 for a new trishaw bicycle so residents can explore their community via the implantation of a Cycling Without Age program
• New Richland Public Library – $1,000 new books for K-1 readers to encourage the joy of reading and fuel passionate lifelong learning to the youngest citizens of the community
The NRAF Fund is a community advised fund of the Waseca Area Foundation. It was established in 2010 and has granted 91 requests totaling $156,750 since its inception. Anyone can help to grow this investment in our community through small or large donations. Giving to the NRAF can be as simple as a cash donation (one-time or recurring) for any amount (NRAF c/o Waseca Area Foundation, 501 East Elm Ave., Waseca, MN 56093) or as sophisticated as leaving your legacy with a planned gift of securities, stock, or real estate. All gifts can be tailored to fit your philanthropic goals, and all gifts are tax deductible.
Current board members include Betsy Bartness, Heather & Travis Blake, Karla Christopherson, Matt Harrington, Lee Mendenhall, Laina Rajala, Jill Schlaak, and Kermit Schoenrock. Any of them welcome your questions. The board extends a huge thank you to retiring member Gail Schmidt who devoted 10+ years to establishing and growing the fund.