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NMF Board and Staff Visit Mahnomen (August Board Meeting Recap)

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On August 18, 2017, the NMF Board Members and Staff traveled to Mahnomen for the quarterly board meeting and community visit. In-person board meetings are held in the cities that the board members call home on a rotating basis, and each county in the northwest region is represented. This time Pete Haddeland, current Board Chair, hosted the board meeting in his hometown of Mahnomen at the White Earth Tribal and Community College (WETCC). Board and Staff members arrived at WETCC at 8:30 AM for coffee and breakfast, and then boarded two vans for a tour of Mahnomen led by Michael Neusser, White Earth Economic Development Director and Mitchell Berg, Mahnomen City Administrator.
As the vans weaved through the streets of Mahnomen, NMF Board and Staff members had the opportunity to see first-hand all of the projects and initiatives that have been funded by the Foundation. Since 2013, for every $1 the city received from NMF, the city was able to leverage $1.35 from other grants and funding sour…

Peacemaker Resources Paves the Way for Lifelong Learning in the Classroom

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The mission of Peacemaker Resources is to "foster communication, compassion and connection leading to respectful relationships and healthier individuals and communities" and they achieve this by bringing their social emotional learning curriculum to elementary and middle schools around the state. They were also a recipient of the NMF Quality of Place award in 2016What makes their curriculum distinctive?BarbHoug, Executive Director, says, "Its preventative approach, its relevance for children of all ages, and its lifelong impact."
The curriculum that Peacemaker Resources is bringing into schools includes a number of programs - STAR (Students Teaching Attitudes of Respect)Girls LeadCultural ResponsivenessSEL (Social Emotional Learning)Mindfulness, and Trauma Informed Practices. These programs are designed for children of all ages, races, genders and socio-economic status. SEL teaches children to recognize and understand their emotions, feel empathy, make sou…

Hallock Keeps Business Brewing

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Minnesota is no stranger to the craft beer scene. Breweries continue to pop up all around the state, not just in the Twin Cities metro. Brothers Ryan and Joshua Evenson, along with their spouses, Lindsey and Ashley, opened a new microbrewery business in Hallock on February 24, 2017: Revelation Aleworks.

“It was a dream of ours for a long time,” said Ryan, “Lindsey and I lived in Oregon for about eight years. Josh and Ashley lived in Oregon too. We fell in love with craft beer. It was always a ‘someday’ dream until this building became available.”

The building is located at 146 Atlantic Avenue, the former Johnson Oil service station (circa 1939). It features an industrial design with space for the seven barrel brewing system, seating for customers, and a unique curved glass block wall. The brothers worked a lot with tools and ladders during 2016, along with many hours of planning with Lindsey and Ashley, before the building was ready for customers.

The February 24, 25 2017 grand opening q…

Argyle Residents Committed to Community Growth and Wellness

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On Friday, June 23rd, 92 dedicated golfers from the Argyle area showed up amidst the chilly, windy, Minnesota weather and overcast sky to support the Argyle Parks & Recreation Fund.
This was the second annual golf tournament organized by a group of committed Argyle community volunteers that serve on the Argyle Fund Advisory Committee. Hosted at Riverside Golf Course in Stephen, MN, the tournament includes raffle prizes, games and contests along the course, and food. Golfers form teams of four and play one round of nine holes. Forty-eight Argyle area businesses stepped up to support the event by being Eagle Overall Sponsors, Clubhouse Sponsors, Hole Sponsors, and donating raffle prizes.
The Argyle Parks & Recreation fund advisory committee has been busy in the past year fervently planning events and fundraisers to expand wellness opportunities for their community. In the past year they've organized eight fundraisers ranging from a Color Run, Mother/Son dance, and a basketball…

The Watermark Art Center: Northwest Minnesota's Gateway to the Arts

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Bemidji has been a regional hub for the arts for generations. Between the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, Bemidji State Music Department,  Bemidji Sculpture Walk, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, and the annual Art in the Park festival, the city has integrated art into the community's pulse and made the arts accessible for people from all over the northwest region.

One of the key players keeping this area's art scene progressing and expanding is the Watermark Art Center. If you've driven through downtown Bemidji recently, you've probably noticed the old Leuken's grocery store building on the corner of 5th and Bemidji Ave (across from the Carnegie Library) is under construction. This will be the new location for the Watermark Art Center, which is temporarily housed at nearby 516 Beltrami Ave N. The project is the culmination of generous support from individual donors, foundations, and other community partners, including early support from the USDA Rural Development C…

An Evening to Remember - The Warroad Area Community Fund Gala

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It was a perfect northern Minnesota summer evening in Warroad on Saturday, June 3, 2017.The brand new Warroad Community Park Pavilion had recently opened its doors, and it was ready for people to see it all lit up and decorated for its very first event.

 The Warroad Area Community Fund (WACF) Gala was that event! The advisory committee hosted this gala to raise awareness for the fund and its impact on the Warroad community. This was also an opportunity to share with community members the potential that the fund has to continue fostering community initiatives when additional gifts are made.
The evening included a social hour, silent auction, three course meal, a live strings performance by the Rainy Lake Community Orchestra, and an awards program followed by a DJ and dancing! There were 90 people in attendance which included a mix of donors, sponsors, community leaders, and grant recipients. 
The WACF awarded 14 grants in 2017. Recipients included:
The Warroad LibrarySkater Tots Progra…

The State of Manufacturing: Northwest Region Event Recap

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Over 40 manufacturing professionals, business executives, and community leaders came together in Bemidji for the 2017 State of Manufacturing northwest region celebration event on Tuesday, May 23rd. Enterprise Minnesota presented the 2017 survey results, as well as hosted a Q & A panel.
The survey results were overall very positive and showed an optimistic horizon for the manufacturing industry in Minnesota. 
Here are a few highlights: For the first time, 94% of manufacturing executives are “very confident” about their firm’s financial perspectiveThe majority of respondents feel optimistic about the future of the economy35% of executives are expecting double-digit growth in revenue and profitability
Among the concerns facing the manufacturing industry: 68% of executives say it is difficult to attract qualified candidates to their firm’s vacanciesThe cost of health care coverage is the #1 concern companies are facingOnly 17% of companies have formally structured leadership developmen…