Foundation issues first-round grants

Milaca Fine Arts Council members Andrea Mikla, Theresa Bemis, Ardy Becklin and Mimi Peterson are ecstatic about being one of the RRCF’s first grant recipients. The $1,500 grant the group received will help equip the council’s new space at the Senior Center.

Mille Lacs County Times

One year after its creation, the Rum River Community Foundation has made good on its promise to assist area projects and awarded its first round of grants to local organizations at a banquet last Saturday evening at Stones Throw Golf Course in Milaca.

Pease Community Fireworks were awarded a $500 to help fund its Fourth of July display. The Milaca Area Food Pantry was awarded $1,000, which will count toward its March Food Drive. And the Milaca Fine Arts Council was given a $1,500 grant.

Roy Resenbrink and Dort Brink represented the Pease Christian Reform Church committee to accept the grant — the group that has taken on organizing and funding the annual fireworks display after the Pease City Council voted to stop sponsoring the event.

“I’ve been lighting them off since 1986,” Resenbrink said of the popular Independence Day tradition.

“A lot of people in the community come to see them and we’d like to keep it that way,” Brink added.

The grant for the Milaca Area Food Pantry will have a compounded impact as a partial match will be available from Minnesota FoodShare.

“It’s very important during March because that sets us up for the whole summer,” said Pantry Director Carol Mueller. “This is a big boost for our March Food Drive. Every dollar we put into the account — that’s five more meals.”

For members of the Milaca Fine Arts Council, this injection of funding will help equip their new space. MFAC is now sharing the Senior Center building and members are excited to make the finishing touches. Members have already painted the inside of the building and are gearing up for an opening gala in May.

“It’s going to be a place that we can increase our visibility,” said MFAC member Theresa Bemis. “The Rum River Community Foundation grant will help make our improvements. I know it was Pete’s (Pedersen) brainstorm, and we’re happy to be one of the first recipients. It’s a huge shot in the arm for the Milaca Arts Council.”

For the full story, see the Thursday, April 5 print edition of the Times.